Should an Incision Be Sutured After Implant Exposure? Is It Ok to Leave the Implant Exposed for a Week Before Removal? (photo)

1 week Post op the left breast implant felt higher and noticeably more swollen I was assured was normal and would settle over time.MD 3 weeks post op small opening occurred culture taken no infection antibiotics started precautionary to culture results, no futher action. Small hole continues to open into a larger hole which i believe was my implant exposed, Md stitched it up. IV antibiotics started. stitches come out now huge hole awaiting removal for over 5 days MD out of town said it can wait.

Doctor Answers 6

Is It Ok to Leave the Implant Exposed for a Week Before Removal?

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Sorry to hear of the problem you have had after breast surgery. Usual practice would be for removal earlier than a week, but since there is an open wound, it is quite unlikely that the delay will cause any illness. But fever, redness, malaise should lead to earlier removal, whether or not your surgeon is available. 

Best wishes. 

Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Should an Incision Be Sutured After Implant Exposure? Is It Ok to Leave the Implant Exposed for a Week Before Removal?

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I am sorry to hear about the complication you have experienced. Generally, removal of the exposed implant should be done relatively quickly;  removal of the foreign body will help minimize chances that an infection will result.  Ultimately, your health and safety are of paramount importance. Re augmentation can usually be performed down the line;  time will depend on many factors.  Ultimately careful clinical judgment will be necessary to determine when breast re augmentation can be performed safely. Best wishes.

Exposed implant need removal?

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An exposed implant should be removed if it continues to create issues or exposed for a week or more (small exposure).. Any general systemic signs like fever, redness, swelling. malaise should prompt immediate explantation of the implant and IV antibiotics. Pl speak with you plastic surgeon ASAP.

Exposed implants

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I'm very sorry to hear that you are having these issues with your implant.  It sounds as if you had a localized infection problem that led to the exposure of the implant.  The concern for more significant infection is why many plastic surgeons would choose to remove an exposed implant.  If you experience any fever, increased swelling or redness or pain, or even general malaise, I would recommend immediate evaluation and removal of the implant.

Probably no medical risk waiting for X plantation.

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I'm not sure why you had the sequence of problems. It's a bit on customary to leave them exposed implant for several days but I don't think it will cause any medical issues.

Removal of Exposed Implant

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Once an implant becomes exposed, it should be removed.  There is no hope in trying to sew the would closed in hopes of salvaging it.  This is not an emergency as long as there is no infection.  However, the longer you wait, the larger the hole will become and the implant might come out on it's own.  If you must wait five days, there should be no harm.

Martin O`Toole, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

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.