Can Common Cold or Bacterial Infection Infect Chin Implant?

Hi, I am curious to know if any other sort of infection (viral or bacterial) can possibly infect the chin implant ? Also, are diabetes or high blood pressure patients more prone to chin implan infections ? Thanks

Doctor Answers 12

Infection of chin implant

The chance of having an infection in the chin implant is extremely rare. We place patients on antibiotics prior to and directly after the surgery. A viral inflammation will not affect the chin implant. Other medical issues, such as diabetes or high blood pressure will not affect the chin implant procedure. This is done under local anesthesia with a small one-half inch incision placed in the submental area, not through the mouth.  

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 reviews

Chin implant can become infected with bacteria but not cold virus.

If you have a stable, well-healed, chin implant in place, infection from an external source such as a common cold virus is generally not possible. Treat your symptoms accordingly.

Even with bacterial infections such as strep throat, tonsil or tooth abscess, ear infection, or urinary tract infection (to name a few examples), secondarily infecting a completely-healed chin implant is very rare, though theoretically possible.  Antibiotic therapy for the primary infection should satisfactorily protect your chin implant, but if you note increasing redness, pain, or swelling around your chin implant, you should see your surgeon. Some doctors even recommend that their implant patients take a dose or two of antibiotic as a preventive measure just before dental work (which releases significant numbers and kinds of bacteria into the blood stream) or any other procedure that might cause bacteria to enter the blood stream. I do recommend this for my breast implant patients, even though the ADA (American Dental Association) has recently relaxed their criteria for prophylactic antibiotics prior to dental work. For solid, non-mobile implants such as chin, pec, or calf implants, once these are well-healed and stable, antibiotic prophylaxis is not needed, in my opinion.

However, if you have recently had a chin implant placed and have developed pain, redness, swelling, or drainage from your incision, you may have an infection, and will need to see your surgeon. Antibiotics may relieve your symptoms, but in most cases of true implant infection, the implant must be removed, the infection treated and cured, the tissues allowed to heal and soften, and the implant replaced. If your implant was placed via an intraoral incision, the risk of bacteria being introduced into the implant pocket is higher than if a submental (below the chin) incision is used. I prefer the latter for this reason, though it is still possible for a chin implant placed via the external incision to become infected, just less likely! I also utilize preoperative IV antibiotics, antibiotic irrigation of the implant pocket before placement, and oral antibiotics for several days after surgery. A transparent adhesive bandage is glued to the incision (which is closed with under-the-skin dissolving sutures) to prevent any bacterial introduction into the tissues as they heal and seal shut over the first few days after surgery.

Diabetics are at slight increased risk for all infections, implant or not, but I have performed many different kinds of implant placements in diabetic patients without problem. Keeping your blood sugars in tight control minimizes these risks.  High blood pressure does not directly increase the risk for infection, but can increase the risk of other complications such as bleeding, heart attack, or stroke. High blood pressure should be normalized by your doctor before proceeding with any type of elective surgery. This is something that should be taken care of as part of your pre-anesthetic physician examination.

HIV patients or patients who are taking immunosuppressive drugs (such as transplant patients), as well as patients undergoing chemotherapy also have higher risk of infection, and may not be a candidate for elective implant placement in some cases.

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews

Infection of Chin Implant

Hi FrankJ in Austin, Texas,

Chin implants are commonly performed as adjunct procedure with rhinoplasty, face lift, or neck lift. While silicone is preferred by many plastic surgeons, other material may also be used to build the chin. Being a foreign material, there is always a potential risk of implant infection, specifically bacterial. Some signs or symptoms may include pain, swelling, redness, or fever over the area. Patients with diabetes are generally higher risk of any type of infection, anywhere in the body. Fortunately, the risk of bacterial infection of chin implants are very low. Your plastic surgeon can help determine the relative risk of potential complications and help determine if chin augmentation with implants is appropriate for you. Best of luck.

Dr. Chaboki

Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

How likely are chin implants to become infected?

Having recently reviewed the literature on this topic for a presentation, I can tell you that the risk of a chin implact becoming infected is low, less than one percent.  That said, most surgeons are very meticulous when placing any foreign material as an implant infection almost always will require removal of the implant.

Joseph Campanelli, MD
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Implant Infections

Regarding: "Can Common Cold or Bacterial Infection Infect Chin Implant?
Hi, I am curious to know if any other sort of infection (viral or bacterial) can possibly infect the chin implant ? Also, are diabetes or high blood pressure patients more prone to chin implan infections ? Thanks

All man made implants (breast, chin, joints, etc) CAN be infected by bacterial infections elsewhere in the body. These infections are overwhelmingly bacterial and there are no reports of viral infections that I am familiar with. Diabetics may have a higher rate of infections than others, especially if uncontrolled but there is no evidence that those with high blood pressure have a higher risk for infection. Taking oral antibiotics before dental work or when suspecting a bacterial infection is a precaution worth taking.

Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Chin implant infection

Any bacterial infection you have can travel to a surgical site or to an implant and cause it to become infected and require its removal.  Not with viral though.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Can Common Cold or Bacterial Infection Infect Chin Implant?

The answer is not really but the statistical significance is slightly higher with these queried medical issues. From MIAMI Dr. Darryl J. Blinski

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Chin implant infection

Chin implant infections are rare but do happen and the ones to be concerned about are from bacteria.

Peter T. Truong, MD
Fresno Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Chin implant infections

Bacteria would infect the implant, vs. virus.  Any systemic disease has the potential to increase infection risks.


Scott E. Kasden, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Spread of an infection to a chin implant

Any diabetic, but particularly longstanding poorly controlled, patient  theoretically has a higher rate of implant infection due to mildy compromised immune system and vascularity. Theoretically bacteremic spread to a chin implant is possible but not likely.  

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 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.