How to Recognize Infection Symptoms After Breast Augmentation?

HI, I got a breast augmentation 1 month ago and my right breast is still red on the top and kinda tender (more than the other one). I don't have a fever. My doctor has already had me on 2 courses of different antibiotics but I don't know if I have an infection...

How can I detect if this is an infection or just normal recovery from the breast implants? Thanks

Doctor Answers (27)


If your surgeon has seen you, then he or she has taken a history and done an exam to arrive at a conclusion.   The post procedure skin changes tightness, swelling, and tenderness will not usually be soft and stable until after 3 months. 

Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Redness after breast implants

Redness and tenderness can be a signs of infection or inflammation with or without fluid collection. Your surgeon is best able to answer this question for you - you should be seeing your surgeon regularly until your symptoms have resolved entirely. It is very important that you contact him or her with any changes (increased redness, pain, fever). Best of luck.

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Infection symptoms

Redness and warmth are two signs that you may have an infection. It's good that you've seen your surgeon about this. Just follow their instructions, or if you don't trust them, you can see your doctor for a second opinion.

Michael Constantin Gartner, DO
Paramus Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

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Close follow-up is advised

Redness alone is not enough to make the diagnosis of an implant infection.  Sometimes the skin or the breast tissue can become inflamed.  If the implant is not involved, it can improve with antibiotics.  This may increase the risk of capsular contracture.  You need to have close follow up with the plastic surgeon.

Gary Lawton, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Breast Augmentation Infection Symptoms

Bacterial infection symptoms are pain, tenderness, swelling, and redness. There may also be pus. If your surgeon is already aware of your situation, then you are probably following a suitable course of treatment. 

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

Breast implant infection

It is critical to inform your plastic surgeon about any questions or concerns you have after any surgery. Following breast augmentation surgery is is typical for patients to have an appointment 1 - 2 days after surgery, at one week, 2 weeks, 1 month, 3 month, six month and 12 month however, if you have any concerns between appointments contact your plastic surgeons office right away. They will want to see you.  

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 42 reviews


Unfortunately, without a complete history and physical exam and through pre operative photography there is not enough information to make an informed plan, please consult your surgeon or another local board certified plastic surgeon

Ryan Neinstein, MD, FRCSC
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Breast implant infection

Very important question - and definitely one you want to have answered definitively. You need very close follow up by your plastic surgeon. If you do have an infection it needs to be treated aggressively. Best of luck.

Christopher J. Davidson, MD, FACS
Wellesley Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

You Need to be Re-Evaluated By Your Plastic Surgeon to Determine if You Have a Breast Infection


Infection following breast augmentation is a serious complication that can result in patients losing their breast implants. Signs of infection include redness, swelling, drainage, pain, fever and occasionally flu like symptoms.

When any of these symptoms occur, they should be investigated aggressively. This may include laboratory studies, ultrasonography, and possibly aspiration of fluid within the breast pocket for culture.

It’s important that you be re-evaluated by your plastic surgeon. Your clinical course doesn’t seem to be improving, despite two courses of antibiotics. In addition, you continue to have unilateral redness and tenderness. These findings suggest that infection is definitely a possibility.

If it is determined that you have an infection, aggressive treatment will be necessary to salvage your breast implants. This would include an infectious disease consultation, appropriate culture specific antibiotics and possible re- exploration of the breast pocket with aggressive cleansing. Even with these maneuvers, once infection is established within the breast pocket, removal of breast implants is usually necessary.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Breast Aug Infection


From what you describe above it sounds like you might have an infection.  Your surgeon would be the best judge of the possibility of infection.  It's possible there is just some inflammation from the surgery but time will tell if there is no improvement in your symptoms.  Talk to your surgeon again and discuss your concerns.

Jeffrey W. Hall, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.