How Long Before Infected Breast Implants Are Removed?

Do you have to wait for infected breast implants be removed or replaced?

Doctor Answers 6

Infected breast implants

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If you know you have an infected breast implant then it should be removed immediately to prevent further complication. 


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if you have a real infection around the implant, known as a peri prosthetic infection. It needs to be removed ASAP! After the infection resolves and all the tissue "settles down", then you can consider replacing the implant . This usally takes at least 3 months.

Michael S. Beckenstein, MD
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Important to distinguish between skin infection and true implant involvement

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Hi there-

In cases where the implant is involved in the infection, most surgeons would recommend that you immediately remove the implants and complete a course of antibiotics, with replacement after 2-3 months...

Infection can occur without involvement of the implant, however. In these cases, antibiotics will often lead to complete resolution without surgery.

How to know which type of infection you have? Only your surgeon will know, based on your examination and how it changes over time, whether you need antibiotics or surgery. Generally speaking, though, implant infections are fulminant and obvious, with rapid worsening- you'll know something is VERY wrong.

Best advice- see your surgeon frequently and follow his/her advice.


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 An infected breast implant should be removed today.  It is a relative emergency and needs prompt attention.  Antibiotics without implant removal will not cure a true implant infection.  Once they are out, you need to wait 6-12 weeks before re-insertion.

'Have" to wait?

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There is no reason to "have" to wait to remove infected implants unless you mean to ask how long one should give antibiotic treatment a chance to cure the infection. There is also some difference of opinion as to whether you need to have the infected implants replaced at all since some doctors might either treat the infection with a constant antibiotic irrigation set-up or remove them, irrigate the pocket, and then replace them back.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Requires immediate attention

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If you are sure there is an infection involving your implants you should see your plastic surgeon for evaluation and treatment which at the least will involve antibiotics and may end up wit removal of the implants. There is a waiting period before the implants are replaced because we need to allow the infection to completely clear and the tissues to soften.

Dr Edwards

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.