What Are Symptoms of Bacterial Infection on Breast Implants?

I had textured saline implants put in about 20 months ago. The implant shifted and I went back to surgery 5 days later, experiencing fever, chills, severe pain.

The surgeon did not use a new implant and tried to salvage the implant which I thought they were supposed to replace with a new implant. Anyhow I have been nothing but sick since then. I now feel a strange sensation and I just feel ill as if something isn't right on the one breast.

Is it possible that there could be bacteria in my implant and how would I know or since I'm allergic to many things could I be allergic to the shell?

Doctor Answers (6)

Infection

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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


New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Bacterial infection and implants

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The actual symptoms may vary quite a bit from a breast implant infection, but in general patients can experience pain, fever, chills, redness over the breast, and even drainage.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Possible for you to have bacterial infection on breast implants

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Hello,

You could have an implant infection. Implant infections vary regarding how they manifest themselves. Some patients have red, hot, swollen wounds and breasts. Other patients get contracture (hardening) that may come up quickly over the first few months.

This does not sound like an allergy problem. Your surgeon should be steering the direction of the inquiry figuring based upon examination and/or testing whether or not the implant might be infected. This is not always easy.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

An infected implant would be red, hot and angry

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Pain, fever, chills, and redness of the entire breast are the signs of infection of a breast implant. If you develop these symptoms then you need to contact your plastic surgeon immediately. If the implant is infected no antibiotic will improve the condition and the implant must be removed. If you only have segmental pain and redness cellulits or mastitis is a possibility and this can be treated with antibiotics. I would not suspect any allergic reactions to a silicone implant or implant shell. .

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Probably not allergic

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Silicone implants are inert as far as allergic or biochemical reactions are concerned. Howver, things used in surgery such as iodine solutions or talc from powdered gloves or antibiotic solutions can be allergenic. There might have been no indication to change the implants if the only problem was a dislocation from its capsule and no sign of infection. Often surgeons will take a culture just to be sure especially if there is cloudy fluid around the implant. Infection of impants usually declare itself with pain, tenderness, fever, swelling, and possibly redness. If you have none of these signs or symptoms and your textured implant is function as intended (i.e. the soft tissues have attached themselves and the implant is not dislodged and free-floating) then you probably do not have an infection.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Bacterial infection of Breast Implants

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Bacterial infection of breast implants is very serious and usually causes noticeable symptoms.

Typically you are acutely ill. The skin overlying your implants usually will become pink, warm and red, and you would have fever and chills.

"Subclinical", that is infection without symptoms certainly can occur and is believed to be a cause of capsular contracture.

See your doctor and get an opinion.

Brooke R. Seckel, MD, FACS
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 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.