Should I request implant be removed? Is it common practice to re-suture an infected and exposed implant? (photos)

After 5 days in the hospital for infection, my doctor told me my implant was exposed. He said he just needed to stitch up the opening. My husband and I pushed back; everything I read says this is a bad idea. I know "google" patients are annoying, but I want to make sure I understand what is happening. After a 5 day hospital stay I no longer take this lightly. If this is common practice to re-suture an infected and exposed implant please tell me. I have found nothing that supports this yet.

Doctor Answers 11

Infected re-sutured implant

  • Your implant must be immediately removed and without delay.
  • Your have infection and exposure of the implant and obvious infection of the breast tissue.
  • Keeping the implant in place makes infection worse and may lead to further complications.
  • Your treatment is most unusual for a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and not standard practice.
  • Insist that the implant be removed, the pocket irrigated with antibiotic solution and that wound care be begun for rapid healing.
  • If you do not want him involved with your care, keep moist dressings over the wound and call a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and ask to be seen immediately.
  • If you cannot get an appointment at once, go to the nearest best Emergency Room - they will have a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon on call who will take over your care. 
  • I am very sorry this is happening to you. 

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Infected implant must be removed

There is no question that your implant is exposed and infected.  This will not fix itself the implant must be removed before you suffer insurmountable harm.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Infected implant

 Your implant needs removal, irrigation, antibiotics and local wound care to allow for complete healing.


In my practice the implant would have been removed when you were admitted to the hospital.  It is far easier to cure an infection without the foreign body i.e the implants

Dr Corbin

Frederic H. Corbin, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Exposed, infected breast implant must be removed!

You and your husband are correct to be concerned.  Especially after an infection, and exposed breast implant must be removed, the implant cavity irrigated with antibiotic solution and a drain inserted.

You should wait at least 6 months and preferably a year if you choose reimplantation.

This is an emergency and if your plastic surgeon persist in wanting to suture the wound closed see another plastic surgeon.  Insist that your implant.  Removed.

Re-suturing of this infected and exposed implant shown in the photos is most concerning,


"Google" patients are far from annoying; they are trying to research or resolve concerns about their healthcare. The retention of an infected and exposed implant, as pictures, puts your breast tissue and health at risk...

For your safety and peace of mind, I would suggest that you seek out another opinion with an experienced, board certified plastic surgeon.

I hope that your problem is cared for expeditiously and your long-term outcome is satisfying.

Best Regards,

Douglas J. Raskin, MD
Colorado Springs Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Immediate breast Implant Removal Needed

Your breast implant is chronically infected and is trying to extrude. It needs to come out immediately to resolve the infection and to let the breast heal.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Implant exposure

After 5 days of hospital iv antibiotics I would remove the implant and come back in 3 months when everything has settled. Just my humble opinion though.


David Shifrin, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 165 reviews

Should I request implant be removed? Is it common practice to re-suture an infected and exposed implant?

YES you are correct... REMOVAL ASAP! This will never heal correctly and the possible capsule effect is real....

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

Is it common practice to re-suture an infected an exposed implant?

There are instances where an early wound breakdown over a breast implant can be repaired with antibiotic coverage and there are cases in the literature to support the effort. Keep in mind though that success is at best an occasional win. Your surgeon will have to rely on his examination and judgement to know if the situation is worth a try.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 42 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.