Infection? Breast Aug 1 Year Ago, Hardness, Redness, Pain?

I got a breast augmentation a year ago and a month after surgery I got a fever and experienced a lot of pain and redness on my left breast. The hardness never disappeared and 3 months later I went back to surgery for capsular contracture, but a month later started again with the same symptoms redness, pain and hardness. My doctor gave me an antiiflammatory but this still happens every month. I'm afraid if I go back to surgery to get my implant replaced this will continue to happen.

Doctor Answers 7

Inflammation and contracture after augmentation

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Brens,  I hope the preceding comments have given you information you can take back with you to your surgeon.  Yours is not a common scenario and in order to prevent it in the future, you will have to be quite aggressive in your approach that will incur additional costs.  I hope your surgeon has a liberal revision policy and is able to help you through your long journey ahead.

Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Breast infections

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I have had a few patients whose breasts became red swollen and painful post augmentation. It occured on one side and usually responded to oral antibiotics. My antibiotic of choice was cipro. If there is no improvement then removing the implant and sending appropriate cultures might be necessary. Then waiting until the implant can be replaced after the infection and inflammation have settled down.

Terry A. Cromwell, MD (retired)
Lafayette Plastic Surgeon

Recurrent capsular contracture

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Hi Brens,


Sorry to hear about your story. This is a difficult problem and unfortunately, does happen to a few patients. I would agree with the other PS here: take out the implant and capsule, allow the smouldering infection / inflammation to settle down, and then have a new implant placed later. 

one question: is your incision at the areola? 

Yes, this is a real inconvenience to you and added cost given the second stage surgery, but in the long run will provide you with the best result. 

take care. 


Bennett Yang, MD
Rockville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Implant problems and possible infection?

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Without examining you and knowing exactly what was done in surgery makes is difficult to answer your question. If you have recurrent capsules, you may have a low grade infection and a full capsule removal will possibly be necessary along with exchange of implant. Another option could be to remove the implant wait a few months and start over.

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

Infection? Breast Aug 1 Year Ago, Hardness, Redness, Pain?

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Sorry to read about your difficult course. From the narrative my primary suspicion is of an implant infection, and if I am correct, the only appropriate treatment will be removal of the implant and capsule. Afterward, a delay of at least three months will minimize the chance of a recurrence when a new implant is placed. 

Next on the list of possibilities is capsular contracture. There are surgeons who when seeing someone with recurrent contracture would recommend the same treatment: that is, remove the implant and capsule around it, and delay for three months the replacement. Although that is not usually my advice, it would be in this setting. 

I don't question anything your surgeon has recommended, but I do feel that getting a second opinion is in your best interest given the complexity of the decision making possibilities here. 

All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Indolent breast implant infection

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You sound like you have a smoldering breast implant infection.  If that is the case, the implant needs to be removed as antibiotics will not cure this.

Breast hardness after implants

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Thank you for your question about your breast implants. Your problem is probably a chronic infection around the implant.

  • Implant hardening and pain is called a 'capsule' - hard tissue.
  • Once an infection settles around an implant, surgery can't fix the capsule.
  • Consider having the implant removed, then a new one placed in 3 months.
  • Capsules are less common when implants are under the muscle
  • Discuss other possible causes with your surgeon.

Hope this helps. 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.