Infection After Implant Removal? (photo)

I had my ruptured implants removed exactly one month ago today and I have an infection in one of my breast. I'm on my third different antibiotic and I'm getting the breast drained with a needle every other day. The last draining was much lighter in color than before and it rendered 50 cc's or whatever the measurement used. I just know it was 50. It's a large fat syringe. Is this normal and should I seek a second opinion. I'm attaching a photo of the affected area. Thank you!

Doctor Answers 6

Infection 1 month post-op after removal of ruptured implants

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Your case is not the norm for what we would see.  There are some questions that need to be answered in order to know exactly what is going on.  The first question is what kind of implants did you have?  If they were silicone, how old were they.  If you still have some residual silicone gel in the breast tissue, such as would be seen with the older (say over 15 - 20 years old gel implants), then you could have chronic foreign body reaction and persistent infection which may not resolve unless the foreign body is removed.  If they were newer gel implant, or even saline implants for that matter, it would still be wise to just confirm with your surgeon that they were removed in their entirety and no foreign pieces were left behind to get infected.  The next question is whether the implants only were removed or the entire capsule was removed with the implants.  If all or part of the capsule remains, then this could be a source of ongoing infection and fluid accumulation, and it could continue unless the retained capsule is removed.  Your story implies to me that there is still something retained in the breast, and it is likely that, even if it clears for a brief time and stops draining, it will resume at a later time and become a chronic problem unless it is dealt with definitively.  Three courses of antibiotics are enough in my mind to suggest that ongoing conservative treatment will likely not be definitive.  My best advice is to discuss these concerns with your surgeon, and if you aren't satisfied with the advice, seek another opinion.  Good luck.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Infection after Breast implant removal

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The fluid aspirated needs to be cultured and proper type of bacteria and its sensitivity diagnosed. Repeated fluid accumulation and persistent infection could be retained foreign body, If the capsule was not removed you will need surgery to remove the capsule and continue IV antibiotics.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Infection after Implant Removal

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I would like to know if you have saline or silicone implants that ruptured?

If it is silicone implants that ruptured you may have retained foreign material within you that is causing this to be refractory to antibiotics. That may be why you are trying antibiotics and drainage procedures without avail. You may need to have this removed although I will be honest it is impossible  to remove every bit of silicone but if a large enough amount remains it may benefit removal.

A second opinion from a board certified plastic surgeon may be worth while just to put you at ease as you go through this difficult time. I wish you the best and I know this wil get better. Best of Luck.

Khurram Rashid, MD
Peoria Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Infection after Removal of Breast Implants?

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I'm sorry to hear about the complication you have experienced after removal of breast implants. There is nothing in your description that makes me concerned that you have not been treated appropriately. Hopefully, cultures have been taken and based on these cultures you are currently on the appropriate antibiotics. Sometimes, open surgical drainage becomes necessary to adequately drain the infected fluid accumulation.

 You will certainly be able to receive more precise advice by seeking second opinion consultation with board-certified plastic surgeons in your area (even if only for your peace of mind).

 Best wishes.

Infection after breast implant removal

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If you actually have an abscess then it needs to be opened surgically.  Antibiotics and needle aspiration will not help in this situation.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Infection rare with implants

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Sorry for your continued problems. I know that it is very frustrating. I can't tell exactly what is going on. You seem to have a lot of swelling. If there is a large build up then a drain can be placed. If there is still a lot of capsular tissue then it might need to be cleaned out. I'm assuming that there is nonplant now. Best of Luck!

M. Scott Haydon, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 93 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.