Should I Remove Both Implants Due to Strep G and Staph Infection?

I had BA under muscle 8wks ago. The right wound opened. I have been on various antibiotics. It was the size of the top of a pencil, it is now the size of an eyeball. I had swabs and bloods taken last friday. Strep G and a staph bacteria showed up in an aggressive way. My surgoen has said the implant needs to come out. Im thinking of getting them both out as I dont think I'd be able to cope for 3-6mths with one in and one out. I am extremely distressed about the whole thing. Please can you advise

Doctor Answers 8

Infected Breast implants

Infected breast implants should be removed ASAP.

If you want both implants removed then by all means take out both implants ans be treated for the ifection.

You can have breast implants again in 6 months if that is what you decide.

Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Breast Implant Removal - Should I Remove Both Implants Due to Strep G and Staph Infection?

I would probably advise you to leave the unaffected one in unless you want to have both removed permanently.

I am obviously very sorry for what you're going through. It is (fortunately) rare but, nevertheless, a significant problem, at least in the short term.  In general, once your implant has become infected to this degree (open wound, two types of bacteria) the best thing is to remove the implant and let the wound heal on its own, which it will do once the implant is out.  Then, after perhaps six months, you can have the implant reinserted.  Depending on how it looks, what size you are, etc., you may want to consider adding a small piece of acellular dermal matrix (ADM) such as Alloderm or Strattice to help protect the wound.  This is obviously just a thought since I am not able to examine you, assess you in person, etc.

I would try to convince you to keep the "good" implant if you ever want to have them.  And you can always change your mind and have it removed at any point in the future, even in a few months.

But this is not the time to make a rash decision, and it's not a given that having had a successful insertion, you can remove it now and automatically "get it back" when you have the other one done.  I am very sorry for what you're going through and there are no "correct" answers, but if you think you want implants (you did before undergoing this procedure) and are basically happy with the unaffected one, I would try to get you to remove only the one that has to be removed, wait it out, and then give it a good attempt at getting you back where you wanted to be.

You should, of course, go through all of this with your own plastic surgeon.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

Alan M. Engler, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 125 reviews

Infected Breast Implants

Unfortunately infection around a breast implant is almost impossible to treat. It sounds like you have an aggressive infection with 2 types of bacteria and a wound breakdown. The infected implant needs to be removed. Even though the other side is not affected I understand the psychology of being asymmetric, almost like having a mastectomy and a constant reminder of what has happened.  For your own sanity I would have both implants removed. (your surgeon may not be happy with this). Be prepared for having a deformed breast and stiff thickened skin on the side of the infection for at least 6 months. This will eventually get better with lots of massage and faith that your body will eventually recover from this.

Isolde Hertess, MD
Gold Coast Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Breast Implant Removal

Infections can be very difficult to clear when they occur around a breast implant.  If the infection does not respond to antibiotics then implant removal is needed, as your surgeon has recommended.  It is safest to remove both implants at the same time.  If your surgeon takes a culture from the infected implant as well as the one that appears clean, often there can be a low level of bacterial growth in both.  If you take out only the one that is visibly affected you may be prolonging your recovery.  Sorry for your disappointment and hope your final result will be what you hoped for.

Mary Lee Peters, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 114 reviews

Infection and breast implants

Unfortunately, you may need to have the infected implant removed to allow the infection to go away.  You may want to consider a prosthesis while you're waiting for the new implant to be placed.


Although you don't mention it in your description, I assume that on the side with the open wound the implant is exposed.  If this is the case the best course of action is to remove the implant.  In cases such as this, the implant doesn't usually need to be kept out for the 3-6 months as you mention.  Even 6 weeks is likely adequate although this determination needs to be made based on wound healing and physical exam.  I have treated people who choose to remove the other implant during this time, but in most cases it is left in while the other side heals.

Scott E. Newman, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Breast implant infection

Yes, you would need the implant our in most cases to clear up the infection. I would follow your surgeons advice. If the other side is OK, then I would leave it alone.  The time will go by quickly and you would be able to reimplant the affected side.  Or if ultimately you decided to remove the good implant, you would be doing it under a more sterile environment.  There was a reason you wanted implants in the first place so you will still probably want them. Right now you are just not feeling well and are probably worried.  Take care of the infection on the right first.

Marialyn Sardo, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Infection and Breast Implants

If your infection was localized to one implant and the associated wound then I would not recommend removal of the non affected implant.  I would wait 3-6 months to repeat the breast augmentation on the affected side.  If you do not want implants at all and may never want to have them then remove both of them.


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.