How big is risk to get infection again, after surgery for replacement expander to implant?

I had a little infection on radiated breast after double mastectomy and reconstruction with expander .Extender was not removed. After treatment with antibiotic infection's gone.4 month left.Expander has 500 cc now.It' harder, and smaller than another breast.How big is risk to get infection again, after surgery for replacement expander to implant? How to prevent it ? Thank you, Natalia

Doctor Answers (6)

Risk of infection

+2

In a breast that ahs had a previous infection and was radiated, there is probably an increased risk to have a capsule or recurrent infection.


Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Recurrent infection risk

+2

It is hard to quantify.  It is higher than if you never had an infection.  Waiting for an appropriate interval for all inflammation to subside, and taking the correct antibiotics can minimize the risk.

David A. Lickstein, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

How big is risk to get infection again, after surgery for replacement expander to implant?

+2

Very hard question to advise upon. You can try all the preventive measures but in radiated tissue that has a capsular  fibrosis the risks are significant increased. Have you thought of a Lats flap reconstruction? Best of luck from MIAMI Dr. Darryl j. Blinski

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

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How big is risk to get infection again, after surgery for replacement expander to implant?

+2

Regarding: "How big is risk to get infection again, after surgery for replacement expander to implant?
I had a little infection on radiated breast after double mastectomy and reconstruction with expander .Extender was not removed. After treatment with antibiotic infection's gone.4 month left.Expander has 500 cc now.It' harder, and smaller than another breast.How big is risk to get infection again, after surgery for replacement expander to implant? How to prevent it ? Thank you
"

Radiated tissue has a damaged blood supply and is scarred. This makes it hard to expand, hard to heal and prone to infections, once they happen. Once an implant or expander become infected, they are nearly impossible to cure and must be removed to allow the infection to be treated. From your description, I THINK, your expander was NOT infected, but the overlying skin may have been. This explains the ability of the infection to be treated without removing the expander.

As to your question about infection affecting the exchange ti implant - it CAN happen. The odds of it happening can be reduced by thoroughly washing the pocket with antibiotic containing saline, having you on intravenous antibiotics and care in handling the implant. That will greatly reduce but not eliminate the infection risk.

Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Breast implant infection

+2

If you already had an infection around an implant and it has been radiated, it is quite likely that you will have more problems like hardening or another infection.  As long as the current expander is not infected (antibiotics usually DON'T cure infected implants), and using drains and antibiotics you are doing all you can to replace the expander with a permanent implant safely.  But there are no guarantees here.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Irradiated and infected breast reconstruction

+1

IF your expander has become infected some would say it retains bacteria in the form of a biofilm which increases the risk of capsular contracture and/or subseqeunt infection. The only way to minimzie this is to use your own tissue in the form of a flap.  

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 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.