Breast Implant Infection

I recently had a revision surgery for bottoming out implant. 2 weeks later, I had fever and swelling on one side that last for two days. I started on an antibiotic but the fever and swelling had already settled on their own at that point. But, the nipple incision site is hard, red and swollen. I have been on the antibiotics for one week and no improvement. What should I do? I am panicking because I cannot do another surgery.

Doctor Answers 14

Breast Augmentation Infection

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Hello and thank you for the question.

Its difficult to give you good advice without actually examining you. As my colleagues suggested, if you have florid infection which involves the implant, the treatment is to remove the implant as conservative treatment will most often result in recurrence of infection, subclinical infection, among other things. 

If the infection is limited to the soft-tissue/skin, it is conceivable that conservative treatment with antibiotics could treat it. However, I am concerned that you have not seen improvement yet, given your extended course of antibiotics. The persistent redness could be a harbinger of an underlying problem, such as an abscess, which requires exploration and treatment. 

I strongly suggest you follow up with your plastic surgeon to seek further evaluation and ongoing treatment for this problem. 


Glenn Vallecillos, M.D., F.A.C.S. 

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Breast Infection or Implant Infection?

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There is no practical way to properly diagnose your situation or recommend most appropriate treatment through the Internet.

Get in to see your doctor and have him/her follow you closely to determine proper treatment.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 45 reviews


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postoperative infection after breast augmentation is always a distressing complication. There are many ways of handling this problem, the use of oral antibiotics and certainly, if necessary intravenous antibiotics. This may or may not save your implant from being removed. The long-standing presence of infection with your implant may lead to a higher incidence of capsular contracture. It is best to consult your plastic surgeon and ask him/her to explain these problems to you and options that exist for treatment. If you're dissatisfied, it will would not hurt to get a second opinion from a board certified plastic surgeon in your area.

John E. Sherman, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

If you think you have an infection, keep close contact with your surgeon.

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Best thing to do is to stay in contact with your surgeon and monitor any changes.  If your antibiotics are not working, he/she may be able to prescribe you a different medication.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Complications of implants

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An implant infection is a terrible complication.  It sounds like you had a periareolar augmentation.  There is a slighly higher potential reported incidence of this approach having a higher infectious rate but a subclinical infection is manifested by capsular contracture.  There's no real answer to what caused it.  You need to visit your surgeon for his management of this.  It can lead to IV antibiotics and clear.  I've seen cellulitis (not surgical) clear up.  Your next surgery can be removal of the implants until things 'clear out'.  Best wishes and good luck to you on this tough problem.

Ricardo A. Meade, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 125 reviews

Breast infection

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If your symptoms (redness and swelling) don't get better with oral antibiotics, you may need IV antibiotics or to have your implant removed.  Unfortunately once your implant is infected, it is very difficult to clear the infection and even if you do - you may get bad scar tissue that forms around the implant (capsular contracture) which would require another surgery to repair.  I suggest being very aggressive to get rid of an infection near an implant.

Please see your doctor

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Your complains are consistent with possible implant infection . this will not resolve by itself and you need to examined by your physician. If you do not get a satisfactory answer from the original plastic surgeon,seek second opinion.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 152 reviews

Infection after breast implants

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Infection after breast augmentation is uncommon but the risk is present. Signs such as fever and not feeling well, swelling of the breast or breast skin, and tenderness tend to start about a week after surgery. Some infections will respond to antibiotics so stay in contact with your surgeon, take the medications prescribed, and report any changes in how things look and feel. For some the infection will return as the antibiotic is withdrawn so don't delay a return visit if you need one.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Infection after breast augmentation

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Infections after breast implant surgery can be localized near the skin surface, deep and around the implant or both. When the infection is around the implant the implant needs to come out as soon as possible and stay out for some number of months till the infection clears. If it is near the skin surface it needs to be treated aggressively to prevent it from extending down into the implant. These levels of infection can be difficult to discern at a face to face examination and are impossible to discern over the internet. Either you way need direct medical attention preferably by your surgeon.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Breast infection?

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It is unclear exactly what is going on without a complete exam.  Definitely follow closely with yoru surgeon.

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