Chin Implant Infection 6 Months Post-Op, Does it Have to be Removed or Will Antibiotics be Enough?

I had a chin implant via intraoral approach 6 months ago - in august 2011. It went completely fine. The results are more than satisfying. I did not have any problem with infection. In january my implant became infected. I was prescribed with antibiotics and the infection cleared up - completely. My questions are: -) why would a chin implant get infected after such a long time? -) Why do so many surgeons immediately jump to removal, or is this the only option, if antibiotics dont work?

Doctor Answers 5

Infection 6 Months after Chin Implant Placement

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Although rare, the tissue around  a chin implant may become infected, especially when placed through the mouth. Sometimes it is impossible to eliminate the infection without removing the foreign body, the implant,but  your infection was successfully treated with antibiotics, and therefore removal is not necessary.  If this does become a recurring problem, which is unlikely, you should consider removal.

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Infection after chin implant

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The intraoral approach has a higher chance of infection or seeding the implant  with bacteria  the have a subacute infection (biofilm) that may manifest later. The sub-mental placement of the implant reduces those chances. An implant is usually made out of silicone which is a forgin body that encapsulates. Any dissemination of bacteria into the blood stream such as dental work or a urinary tract infection may seed the implants and so antibiotics are advices prior to any procedure that may cause that. I would treat an infection with oral or IV antibiotics if no response or recurrence of infection then the implant needs to be removed.

good luck

There is always risk of infection

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Unfortunately any type of implant carries a lifelong risk of possible infection, although generally speaking the more time that passes the less likely that will occur. Once an implant becomes infected often but not all the time it needs to be removed. Often times because of the fibrous capsule that forms around chin implants, removal of the implants does not lead to significant reversal of the augmentation.

Samson Lee, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon

Infected Chin Implant

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I have not seen any articles showing a higher infection rate of implants going through the mouth versus under the chin. I suspect it is because most patients are on antibiotics by mouth and the implant is soaked in an antibiotic solution before being placed. Why would one become infected so long after surgery? The most likely reason is some bacteria got into the blood stream( flossing your teeth causes this) and the bacteria was strong enough to start an infection. I have seen one patient with this type of history, she went to a beach 1 year after chin implant and developed tenderness and swelling. Oral antibiotics treated the problem nicely and the patient never had a problem again. If the implant were to repeatedly have the problem, removal would be indicated as it may have some type of biofilm.

Brian Maloney, MD, FACS
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Chin Implant Infection

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Infection is a rare complication following chin implants. Usually, it will require removal of the implant for complete resolution, although I have heard (not experienced) instances where antibiotics and irrigation with disinfectant solution into the wound helped resolve the infection without implant removal. Whether this is suitable for you or not needs to be determined by your surgeon. Removal of the implant, if necessary, is relatively simple.

Mark Samaha, MD
Montreal Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 96 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.