I Had a Bilateral Mastectomy, and Antibiotics Don't Seem to be Helping an Infection, Options? (photo)

I had a bilateral mastectomy on 7/21/11. Tissue expanders were placed at that time. I am currently filled to 655ccs on the left and 705 ccs on the right. I have had a number of problems with the left side including a low grade infection shortly after surgery, drains in for 9.5 weeks. Now I have this coloration that looks like a bruise. It is getting larger by the day and now spreading to my torso. My PS gave be antibiotics, but they don't seem to be helping. Have you seen this before?

Doctor Answers 1

Infection following mastectomy reconstruction

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

While complications following breast reconstruction are infrequent, they can significantly affect patient outcomes.  The diagnosis of infection generally requires a culture of fluid from around the implant or a soft tissue infection such as cellulitis.  Symptoms of infection include redness, swelling, fever and laboratory tests can help make the diagnosis.  It is difficult without examining you to determine what is causing the discoloration.  Prolonged redness has been seen as a soft tissue reaction to human acellular dermal matrix placed at the time of reconstruction, even without a clinical infection.  Residual blood in the implant pocket can stain the surrounding tissue and appear as a bruise.  If your symptoms are consistent with infection, however, more aggressive surgical treatment may be necessary to attempt to salvage the reconstruction.  These are issues that are best addressed with your plastic surgeon as he/she may recommend further investigation.

Springfield 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.