After expander removal possible infection? Feels like my ribs are bruised, redness, edema and swelling (photo)

Double Mastectomy in February, expanders in place,within 5 days redness,swelling,low grade fevers started.Oral ABT taken Cipro Bactrim & Keflex for 2 mon,Dr refused to give IVabt.2 mo later Dr finally removed expander,wants to heal for 6 months before reconstruction.No cultures done, they said it was a seroma , pathology report from hospital stated there was a 1.5cm slit in the device.below surgical site on ribs is edema, and extreme pain. It is almost in a large V shape under where devise was.

Doctor Answers 5

Expander removal...

Thank you for sharing your photos. Also, sorry to hear about your ordeal. You may have residual low grade infection even after expander removal. It's best to discuss your concerns with your current plastic surgeon and infectious disease doctor.


Hoffman Estates Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Expander loss after breast reconstruction

I am sorry to hear you have had to go through this.  These unfortunate events are known complications that can occur after breast reconstruction.  Please express your concerns with your surgeon.  The future reconstruction will present some challenges and you will need to consider many options. 

In my practice, fat grafting is an important tool in breast reconstruction, including achieving total breast reconstruction after mastectomy. Fat grafting may have a role in your reconstruction in the future.

Timothy Connall, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Breast reconstruction after a failed implant reconstruction

This unfortunately can happen.  It is the downside of any device reconstruction.  You do have to wait to see if another device reconstruction can be performed.  I actually would use your own tissue if you had this sort of problem initially.

Three basic forms of breast reconstruction exist. You can use your own tissue, implants or a combination of the previous two techniques. Your own tissue can be used in the form of the DIEP flap, PAP flap, SGAP flap or fat grafting. Implants can be done in one stage or two stage. Two stage reconstructions are started by placing expanders at the time of mastectomy. Once they expanders are placed they are able to be inflated as determined by wound healing. The final time consists of combining any of the above techniques.

If you are interested in being seen in Austin please give us a call. I know this is a difficult time for you. The majority of my practice is devoted to reconstruction for women with breast cancer or who are BRCA+

You wil be fine

I am sorry about your experience and You will be fine. You need to  wait for the tissue to heal. You have few options that includes
1) reinsertion of the expander and then change them to implants later
2) Bilateral breast reconstruction with tissue form lower abdomen
3) Serial fat grafting with or without implants

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 113 reviews

After expander removal possible infection? Feels like my ribs are bruised, redness, edema and swelling

Sounds likes you need to seek alternative surgeon for better care. Best to call or see in person. 

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.