Why Did a Pinhole with Discharge Appear Along Areola Incision Scar?

Help! I had breast reaugment May/2011. All went fine. Few mnths ago noticed R arm/shlder getting weak. Then noticed pin-sized hole appeared on R breast along incision line on areola w/mild white dischg leak. now body aches, fever comes & goes, yellow dischg pouring out, headaches, R arm/shldr weaker, R breast swollen. PS says he nvr heard/saw this B4 but will do exploratory surg 2 "look" but prob wont B able 2tell me what its from. I insisted on blood work +awaiting results. what is this??HELP

Doctor Answers 10

Breast Augmentation - Why Did a Pinhole with Discharge Appear Along Areola Incision Scar?

In general, a pinhole size opening with a small amount of discharge is not necessarily a cause for major concern, particularly if it is relatively early, a relatively small amount of discharge and if there are no other signs or symptoms of a more generalized process.

However, the combination of what you're describing is, in fact, worrisome and I agree with the plan to explore, remove the implant and wash out the cavity.  You may or may not be able to have the implant reinserted at this time and even that is not a guarantee either way.  If it can't be reinserted, it may be able to be at a later date.  And if it is reinserted there is no assurance it will be okay on its own.

Essentially, you have a delayed infection of the right breast implant, and your signs and symptoms point to, and are consistent with, that diagnosis.  It may never be know why this occurred.  The main thing is to seek immediate medical attention, as you have done, and to proceed accordingly. 

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E


New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 125 reviews

Breast Implant Infection?

Unfortunately, your description fits very well with a breast infection,  likely involving the breast implant. It sounds like your plastic surgeon is planning the correct treatment plan with exploratory surgery.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

Drainage fron Breast Augmentation Incision

It sounds as if you have an infection that may be related to a foreign body or retained stitch or even an implant infection. See your doctor soon for an in person evaluation.

Best of luck,

Vincent Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Vincent P. Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

You have infected implant till proven otherwise

You should be concerned about the implant infection. The treatment involves removing the implant and reimplantation 3-6 months later. There is no role for antibiolics and observation.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 122 reviews

This is infection until proven otherwise. Your implant will probably need to come out.

I agree with my colleagues; this appears to be a late infection. It is indeed unusual to appear so many months after your surgery, but sometimes the contamination is minimal, your body sucessfully "fights off" the bacteria for a while, but eventually they can multiply and work their way to the surface to drain.

If your implant pocket is infected, your implant will need to be removed, the infection healed, and enough time allowed to elapse before replacing your (new) implant. Antibitics alone will NOT cure this infection, but can cause you to lose months of time, money, and false hope that your implant can be "saved." Many plastic surgeons are so reluctant to admit this to their patients, since it's not one but two operations and a new implant, all at additional cost to the patient. And this late after surgery (even if it occurred right after surgery), it's certainly not your surgeon's "fault" nor is it anything you did "wrong." Just rotten luck. Sorry.

Good luck and best wishes!

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

Drainage most likely a late infection.

It sounds as though you have a late infection. Exploration, blood cultures and appropriate antibiotics are necessary. Follow closely with your surgeon. Good Luck!

Brian Klink, MD
Vacaville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Drainage after breast aug

Sounds like you may have an infection. Have you tried antibiotics?  You should definitely keep in close contact with your surgeon.

Daniel Greenwald, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Infection of the breast

Sorry for your recent developments.  It sounds like you may have an infection and the most important thing is to closely follow with your surgeon. Good luck.

Vishnu Rumalla, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 197 reviews

Infection of breast?

It sounds from your description that you may have an infection, it sounds like you are doing the right thing by following closely with your surgeon.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Drainage from Incision after Breast Augmentation

Based on your description, you may have an infection. It seems reasonable to explore this in the operating room.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 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.