How to Recognize Infection Symptoms After Breast Augmentation?

HI, I got a breast augmentation 1 month ago and my right breast is still red on the top and kinda tender (more than the other one). I don't have a fever. My doctor has already had me on 2 courses of different antibiotics but I don't know if I have an infection...

How can I detect if this is an infection or just normal recovery from the breast implants? Thanks

Doctor Answers 40

Redness after breast Augmentation

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Redness can be a sign of infection or inflammation. Your board certified surgeon is best able to answer this question for you. It is extremely important for safe healing that you contact him or her with any changes.

Boynton Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Worried about redness after breast augmentation

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
If you have had follow up with your surgeon then I suggest you follow his/her recommendations. Although it is good to keep your wits about you and maintain common sense, keep in mind that post-operative management requires specialized training and that is why it is important to follow up with your surgeon - that's why we're in school for so long!

Bryan Correa, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon

Inflammation, fluid or infection

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
You should be in close contact with your surgeon.  Sometimes, a seroma (fluid collection) can create an inflammatory condition that improves with surgery to change out the implant and wash out the space.  I've had to do this once in 15 years on a breast augmentation patient.  Your surgeon can best determine if you need this or antibiotics or neither.  Inflammation may increase your risk of capsular contracture so you should stay in close contact with your surgeon. 

Redness after breast implants

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Redness and tenderness can be a signs of infection or inflammation with or without fluid collection. Your surgeon is best able to answer this question for you - you should be seeing your surgeon regularly until your symptoms have resolved entirely. It is very important that you contact him or her with any changes (increased redness, pain, fever). Best of luck.

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 152 reviews


{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
If your surgeon has seen you, then he or she has taken a history and done an exam to arrive at a conclusion.   The post procedure skin changes tightness, swelling, and tenderness will not usually be soft and stable until after 3 months. 

Peter J. Capizzi, MD
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Not always easy to determine

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Infection is a rare complication of routine primary breast augmentation. Typical symptoms include redness, warmth, fever, pain and drainage. Notifying your plastic surgeon early and starting an antibiotic is the right step and can often treat the problem. If you do not respond to the treatment then a different antibiotic may be indicated and if the problem persists, rarely it may be necessary to reoperate and replace or remove the implant.

David J. Levens, MD
Coral Springs Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

How to Recognize Infection Symptoms After Breast Augmentation?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you for your question. You are doing things right. It is important to closely follow with your surgeon who knows your healing. Usually redness, fever, pain and discharge are signs of infection. Because you already got antibiotics, it is better closely monitored by your PS

Infection after breast augmentation

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Infection after breast augmentation is rare. However, this could be very serious. As with all infections, redness, fever, pain and heat at the site of surgery are the hallmarks of infection. These fortunately are rare and there are causes of fever and redness after infection. General anesthesia alone sometimes causes fever and redness can be inflammatory in nature. Sometimes the early picture is confusing. Don't wait until you have all of these symptoms, call your doctor. Although recommendations for prophylactic antibiotics change periodically, almost all surgeons will give their patients at minimum a single dose of intravenous antibiotics before the surgery, some will give antibiotics for a short period after the surgery as well. If your worried don't be afraid to call. Infection around or near the implant can lead to higher rates of capsular contraction and sometimes require removal of the implants. Hope that helps but do not self treat this question.

Daniel Bortnick, MD
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Next Steps: Lab Work and Ultrasound

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you for your question. It sounds like your surgeon is doing the right things in terms of putting you on antibiotics. The next step to determine if you have an infection would be to have some lab work done and an ultrasound performed to see if you have a fluid collection. But, go with what your surgeon advices; he knows the details of your case.

Possible infection

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Your surgeon would know if you have an infection, and it seems that they've already started your treatment to resolve the issue. The redness and tenderness can both be signs of infection, even without fever. However, they may also just be the normal signs of recovery. Please follow your surgeon's instructions because they know your situation better than us.

Ronald Levine, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 25 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.