Breast Implants Removed Due to Staph Infection, Unsure About Next Steps?

Both breasts implants were removed due to staph infection.  Now I'm thinking about having them put back in except my doctor won't check to make sure the staph is gone. Should I proceed? See a different doctor? What should I do to make sure I won't have the same infection problem again?

Doctor Answers 3

Infection and Breast Implant Removal

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Infection in breast implant cases is fortunately very rare, but when it does happen the implants frequently need to be removed. Most surgeons wait 6 months or until after the tissues have softened to consider replacing them. If you can't see your original surgeon I would go to another board certified plastic surgeon with a copy of your operative notes from the first surgeon's office in hand. This way the case can be reviewed and steps can be taken to reduce the risks the second time around.

Orange Plastic Surgeon

Breast augmentation after implants removed for infection

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Getting a second opinion is always a good idea. Bilateral infection after breast augmenation is unusual. Why did it happen? Some plastic surgeons will work with an infectious disease doctor to manage your case; this can be very helpful and I recommend it. If you had MRSA (a type of staff infection) you should definitely be checked to make sure it is erradicated; this is done very simply by taking swabs of your nose, arm pits and groin. If you have not been treated for MRSA you probably still have it. It is also important to let several months elapse before putting the implants back in. You should also be aware that you are at higher risk of developing capsular contracture since you had an infection around the impants.

Tracy Pfeifer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Replacing breast implants

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As Dr. Di Saia stated in his answer, infection following breast augmentation in unusual. When an infection occurs around an implant, the implant serves as an infected foreign body and must me removed to clear the infection as was done in your case.

We all have bacteria on our skin. If a test, (culture) of the skin is performed it may show our typical skin bacteria. If you do carry a more virulent stain of bacteria such as methicillin resistant staph aureous, (MRSA), this may be detected but there is no guarantee.

Most plastic surgeons wait a minimum of 6 months to replace the implants. This allows the tissues to heal prior to the next surgery.

I agree with the rest of Dr. Di Saia's comments.

James H. Schmidt, MD (retired)
Sarasota Plastic Surgeon

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.