Cheek Implant and Buccal Fat Removal - Infection

Is a foul drainage inside the mouth an inevitable indication for an infection? I was struggeling with a post op swelling after the surgery. Now I am 3 weeks post op and the swelling is still gradually subsiding. I have no pain, redness or fever. Today for the first time I am experiencing a foul taste in my mouth whenever I try to smile. Now I am taking cephalexin (antibiotics). My surgeon is out for a week and the nurse advised me to take the mentioned drug. What do you think? Thank you!!!!

Doctor Answers 5

Infection after cheek implant

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How do you know that keflex is the right antibiotic to treat your infection without a culture?

You don't.

Ask the surgeon's office who is covering for him and see that person.  They may take a culture and place you on the proper antibiotic, and see if there is a need to explore the implant, etc.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Infection following cheek implants

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Yes, it sounds like an infection.  You should continue being followed by the plastic and cosmetic surgeon that did your Cheek Implants as it's possible the infection will resolve with antibiotics and the Cheek Implants won't need to be removed.  However, should your face begin to hurt with increasing swelling be sure to contact your doctor immediately.  If the infection does not resolve, in a reasonable amount of time, the implant should be removed and can be replaced after several months.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Cheek Implant Infection Drainage

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That is very suggestive of a draining cheek infection. Because the infection is draining that would explain why the cheek swelling is going done as the abscess has become decompressed. The fact that it is draining is good but unfortunately does not mean you have salvaged the cheek implant. That issue remains to be seen with more time and antibiotics. You need to follow-up with your plastic surgeon when he is back in town next week.

Infected cheek implants

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It does sound from your description like you may have an infected cheek implant.  The lack of fever or redness speaks against that though and it may be a draining hematoma you are tasting.  The strong likelihood is infection though and you should see your surgeon asap.

Infection after Buccal Fat Reduction and Cheek implant

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Foul taste inside the mouth could be a sign of infection after buccal fat reduction or cheek implant. Pain, fever, redness, and swelling are other signs of possible infection. Infections after cheek surgery is uncommon, and usually resolve with a short-course of antibiotics. Removing silicone cheek implants might also be required with facial infection. However, only after a comprehensive evaluation can a surgeon help determine appropriate options for you. Speak with your surgeon.

Dr. Chaboki


Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 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.