I was 9 wks post op and developed sever mastits/cellulitis. What can I expect after my Implant Removal?

I was 9 wks post op and developed sever mastits/cellulitis and was hospitalized all weekend on IV antibiotics the infection didnt show any improvement so Mon. I was scheduled for implant removal I am bandaged extremely tight and I am nervous to see what my breasts will look like now? I am also debating whether to try again in 9 mos or not? Supposedly I developed a stitch abscess which led to the bigger infection, am I likely to do this again?Im scared to put myself through it again for nothing

Doctor Answers 9

Implant Removal for Infection and Replacement Later

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   If the implant is removed, the infection is cultured, and appropriate antibiotics are administered, then replacement of the implant in several months is reasonable and has a good chance of success.  Good luck.

Implant infection

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Often patients who have had breast infections and required their implants to be removed can have them replaced several months later.  It is a personal choice.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Implant Infection Rare But Possible

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Thank you for your question. I am sorry that you are having a difficult recovery. While implant infection is rare, it is possible.  A trial of IV antibiotics is reasonable, but it sounds like your surgeon is caring for you appropriately.  While this is a difficult time, it is still reasonable and appropriate to replace your implant in 3-9 months. You should try to identify any risk factors for a surgical site infection and address those issues with your surgeon.  Best wishes!

George Bitar, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Implant removal due to Infection

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Hello, I'm sorry to hear about your experience. Fortunately  this problem is not common, and is quite easy to resolve.  Once the implant is removed , antibiotics can work better and the infection process usually resolves quite rapidly. Most patients decide to repeat Breast Augmentation, and successful results is the rule.   Although timing runs 6-12 months after,this is best judged by your plastic surgeon.  Best and good luck

Ricardo Vega, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Implant removal after infection

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Sorry to hear about your difficulties after a breast augmentation.  It sounds like the best approach was taken at salvaging your implants.  Your appearance after removal depends on many factors such as your original size, the size of implants that were in place, if any other procedures were performed, etc.  As far as placing implants again, it is definitely best to wait at least 6 months.  Some of the timing will depend on the type of infection you had, how severe it was, and what it looked like when your surgeon removed the implants.  Good luck!

Naveen Setty, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Infection after breast augmentation

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Sorry to hear about your infection. Once the implants become involved in an infection, it is difficult for antibiotics to clear the bacteria. While these cases are fortunately rare, they do require removal of the implants. Once this is done, the infection usually resolves quite rapidly.

The timing of placement of new implants depends on the clinical situation. This is best judged by your plastic surgeon. As a rule of thumb, the loger that you wait, the better. This will lower the possibility of recurrent infection and allow for a better result. I would suggest waiting longer than 6 months at a minimum.

I hope that you feel better soon and best of luck.

Jeff Rockmore

Infection after breast augmentation

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Infections after breast augmentations requiring removal of an implant are uncommon. I'm sorry this occurred with you. Once the implant is removed and the infection has cleared, your breast will most likely look the way it did before you had implants. Generally, the timing of a repeat breast augmentation is around 6-9 months. But, it also depends on your clinical situation and your surgeon. In most cases revision breast augmentations are successful.
Thanks for your question. Best of Luck!

Gregory Park, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

Re Augmentation Of Breasts after Infection?

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Sorry to hear about the complication you have experienced. Your plastic surgeon will be the best resource when it comes to estimating the amount of time you should wait prior to re-augmentation.
 Most patients who experience this complication are understandably eager to return to the   operating room for breast augmentation.  Again, generally speaking, it is in patients best interests to be as patient as possible…

Timing for re-augmentation of the breasts comes down to a judgment call made by the plastic surgeon who knows your situation best. Some of the factors that may be taken into consideration include the severity of infection, the types/aggressiveness of the infectious organism involved, the pliability/softness of the overlying skin/breast tissue etc.
Generally speaking,  the majority of patients who  undergo repeat breast augmentation surgery after removal of breast implants,  do so successfully.

I hope this helps.

Try again

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Infections are very rare in breast augmentation surgery however they can occur.  I generally take extreme precautions when placing implants. Everyone gets a dose of IV antibiotics before surgery, I soak the implants in a solution that contains three antibiotics and I also wash the pocket out with the same solution. Before placing the implants, I re-prep the entire chest with betadine, I change my gloves and I use a funnel to insert the implants so that it doesn't touch any of the skin (which is where bacteria is picked up).  All my patients also get discharged home with a 5 day course of antibiotics even though studies have shown it doesn't help.   Once the implant is removed and the infection is clear, the risks would theoretically return back to that of a virgin augmentation or close to it provided there is no foreign body or additional nidus for infection. Obviously there is no guarantee and I do think it was just plain bad luck for the first infection. Make sure your surgeon takes all the necessary precautions to prevent it from happening again.  

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.