Staph Aureus 4 Weeks Post-op Breast Augmentation. What Are the Chances of Losing my Implant? (photo)

I am 4 weeks post-op remove & replace saline to silicone. A week ago I was lifting my child & felt a severe pain in my left breast with swelling and severe pain that followed the next day. My surgeon is out of town. Saw his partners. Breast was swollen but still soft. Temp of 101. Did not appear to be a hematoma. Was not red or warm. Had an US and then an US guided aspiration. Grew Staph Aureus. Susep to everything. First Levaquin, now Bactrim. How do they determine if they remove it or not?

Doctor Answers 8

Staph Infection After Breast Augmentation

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Dear Classypa,

I am sorry that you have developed a serious infection.

If the Staph Aureus is lodged in the pocket surrounding the implant, the latter one has to be removed and then replaced by another one once the infection is 100% cleared.

However, you should be aware that possible capsular contracture could take place so I do not recommend that you take the risk to salvage the situation.

Thank you for sharing your photos and the best of luck to you.

Dr. Sajjadina

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 205 reviews

Breast augmentation infection question

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Your doctor will follow you and if things do not get better then the implant(s) will be removed. A new implant may be replaced in the future but it still may have problems. Salvage is possible but capsular contraction is often a problem. The key is a thing called biofilm which will form on the implant and is not treated by antibiotics. Good Luck!

Gregory T. Lynam, MD
Richmond Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Staph Aureus 4 weeks post op

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This is a rare but very serious complication. I have rarely seen slavage of an implant even with IV antibiotics. Four months after the breast has healed from implant removal, a new implant can be placed. Antibiotics, with the Staph, is sensitive and should be used in the peri-operative period. It is a dissicult thing for the patient, but allowing things to heal properly will help obtain a satisfactory result.

Staph Aureus 4 Weeks Post-op Breast Augmentation. What Are the Chances of Losing my Implant?

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This is a serious complication because of the increased risk for capsular contracture increases due to this infection and the reaction of the tissues to the staph. a. I would follow you very closely, every few weeks for 3 months, offer external ultrasound therapy, start massaging lightly to aggresive. Good luck. 

Staph infection following breast implants

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Unfortunately, infections in the setting of breast implants (or any implants) can be difficult to manage.  Cellulitis (skin infection) following implant placement can sometimes be treated successfully with antibiotics and may not require implant removal.  However, when fluid that surrounds an implant is infected, it almost always requires that the implant be removed.  Usually an implant can be replaced after removal, but only after the infection has completely cleared.

It is important that you follow-up closely with your surgeon and follow his/her recommendations for further treatment.

Jeffrey Ridha, MD
Saratoga Springs Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Most common problem post infection is capsular contracture

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If your infection clears up and responds to the antibiotics(which is unlikely) you still at high risk of capsular contracture. The picture shows drains post op and early capsular contracture at four weeks. If your breast start to get even harder ,you need to remove them and wait few months before replacement.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Very difficult to clear infection around a implant.

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 I am quite impressed that your radiologist agreed to aspirate and culture the fluid collection. Generally speaking however I have always at least removed the implant completely draining the collection and then decide how to procede. 

Strictly speaking the implant is single use and should not be replaced. If it were to be replaced I would use a drain while continuing antibiotics. 

Here again the clinical judgment of your surgeon is most important. 


Thomas R. Walek, MD
Providence Plastic Surgeon

Staph infection of breast implants

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Assuming the fluid that had Staph A. was in the pocket around the implant, the chance of needing the implant removed, even despite antibiotics, approaches 100%. Stick close to your doctors and follow their advice.

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.