Signs of Infection After Breast Reduction?

I am experiencing a tender to the touch, red, warm area on my left breast. This breast was really swollen and extremely bruised right after surgery and 3 weeks after surgery, I had a puppy jump up on me and hit me in this breast.

Now 5 weeks post op, most of my bruising has healed, but where the puppy hit me I am having the afore-mentioned red area. This area seems to be getting larger in circumference. Is this a sign of infection? Should I see my doctor for an antibiotic just to be safe?

Doctor Answers 9

You should see your doctor ASAP

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Basically, anything with an acute change such as you are describing which is getting larger in circumference should be evaluated.  The symptoms and findings you describe with tenderness, warmth to touch, swelling, and redness are all classic findings diagnostic with infection.  You have to consider it this until proven otherwise, and if you follow that logic, it should be treated immediately.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Infection Following Breast Reduction Surgery

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Infection can occur with any surgical procedure for a variety of reasons.  Many of these infections occur as a result of events that occur in the post-operative period.
It’s noteworthy that you appeared to be doing well for the first three weeks following surgery until you had a collision with your dog.  Following that event you developed an area of redness, bruising and swelling.  I suspect this was probably a hematoma that developed secondary to trauma.  Over the course of time the bruising has resolved, but now after five weeks there appears to be an expanding area of redness.
Although it’s impossible to know without examining you, I suspect that you have a hematoma that has become secondary infected.  This type of problem may require antibiotics and possibly drainage of the wound.
Infection following surgery is typically associated with redness, pain, swelling, drainage, chills and elevated temperatures.  It’s important that you be evaluated by your surgeon before this problem develops into something more severe.  With early appropriate intervention your result should still be excellent.

Breast Reduction - Signs of Infection After Breast Reduction?

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I'm sorry for the difficulties you've had so far, though you will hopefully wind up with the result you hoped for.  At this stage of your healing (5 weeks) you should not have areas of your breasts in which the redness is increasing in size.  In the absence of systemic signs, such as fever, chills, sweats, etc., it is likely just to be a local, limited phenomenon.  But that's not a decision that you can make or something you should take for granted.  I would advise you to contact your surgeon and let him or her make that call.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

Infection after breast reduction

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Breast reduction surgery is a very popular and effective way to contour the breast and remove tissue that may be causing shoulder neck and back pain. Like all surgery, there are risks of complications such as infection. If the area around your decision is warm to the touch, firm, or painful, or you have a fever, nausea, or vomiting, these all may be signs of infection. If you are concerned, your best bet is to return to your plastic surgeon as soon as possible so that they may evaluate you. They will most definitely want to make sure that your healing okay.

Infection after breast reduction

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It is difficult to say whether or not you have an infection. Did the dog bite you or scratch you? Perhaps it is just a bruise from him jumping on you? Without seeing you I could not guess. Best to see your doctor.

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

Infection following a breast reduction

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Thanks for the question. My advice would be to follow-up with your surgeon as soon as possible for further evaluation, as a red, warm, tender breast following a reduction mammmoplasty is a triad of signs which could indicate a significant underlying problem.

 Best of luck.

Glenn Vallecillos, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Possible Infection Following Breast Reduction

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Certainly you should call your surgeon right away.  The area you described could represent  a number of things, but must be considered an infection until proven otherwise.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Infected breast

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You should absolutely see your doctor.  Whether antibiotics are indicated will be determined.  Anytime redness and tenderness is a occurance it must be investigated.  However, I do not think your puppy is the resonsible party.  Sometimes any cut in the skin can get infected.  Good luck!

Infection after Breast Reduction?

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Thank you for the question.

The area of redness and warmth should be evaluated for an infection. See your plastic surgeon for direct examination.

Best wishes.

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.