Is There Any Way to Know if Your Implants Are Infected Before Actually Removing Them?

Hi there, I have had health issues since getting saline implants 15 years ago. I know that it is rare, but they can have faulty valves that allow bacteria in in some cases. Most of my health issues seem to mimic mold toxicity and I have already ruled out my environment with thorough testing. Not looking for opinions about my issues..What I'd like to know is if there is a way to test the implants for toxicity/bacteria before undergoing surgery?

Doctor Answers 2

Is There Any Way to Know if Your Implants Are Infected Before Actually Removing Them?

Obvious Breast implant infections are - Obvious. Redness, tenderness, warmth and occasional discharge from a new opening in the breast. Less subtle are subclinical infections. These may be caused by bacteria reaching the implant from elsewhere in the body and forming a "biofilm", a jelly-like layer of dormant and actively dividing bacteria which are poorly responsive to antibiotics. There is NO way to accurately diagnose this condition by either a single blood or XRay test. It becomes a diagnosis of exclusion where everything else was excluded. You were not specific about what your "health issues" were and exactly how "Most of my health issues seem to mimic mold toxicity". It sounds as if you too are approaching this as a diagnosis of exclusion BUT you fail to disclose any breast symptoms to back it up.

I would consult with a good allergist before considering breast implant removal and examination.

Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Implant issues

Infections of breast implants are usually pretty obvious.  Patients usually will have pain, fever, and redness. Some more obscure infections may not be as obvious.  White blood cell counts can be measured and blood cultures can be obtained, but other than culturing the pocket internally, it is hard to decipher something like fungal or mycobacteria.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 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.