Breast Implant Infection

Breast Implant Infection 

Breast implant infection refers to the presence of an infection in the tissue surrounding a breast implant. It can occur as a complication following breast implant surgery. While uncommon, it is a serious condition that requires prompt medical attention.

Breast Implant Infection Symptoms

Breast implant infection can cause a variety of symptoms. While the presentation can vary from person to person, some common symptoms of breast implant infection may include:

Increased Pain

Persistent or worsening pain in the breast or surrounding area is a common symptom of infection. The pain may be described as sharp, throbbing, or continuous.

Swelling and Redness

The infected breast may appear swollen, enlarged, or puffy. Redness and warmth in the breast tissue are also common signs of infection.

Fever and Chills

Infections often trigger an immune response, leading to an elevated body temperature. Fever, accompanied by chills or sweating, can be an indication of a breast implant infection.

Abnormal Discharge or Drainage

Pus or abnormal fluid discharge from the incision site or around the implant is a characteristic symptom of infection. The discharge may be thick, cloudy, or foul-smelling.

Changes in Breast Appearance

The infected breast may exhibit changes in shape, contour, or symmetry compared to the unaffected breast. This can include visible distortion, asymmetry, or abnormal breast texture.

Skin Changes

The skin over the infected breast may become stretched, shiny, or taut. It may also develop an orange peel-like texture (peau d’orange) due to lymphatic congestion.

General Malaise

In some cases, individuals with breast implant infections may experience a general sense of illness, fatigue, or lack of energy.


It’s important to note that these symptoms may also be present in other breast conditions or complications. If you suspect a breast implant infection, it is important to book a breast implant health check. This allows us to evaluate your symptoms, perform a thorough examination, and recommend appropriate diagnostic tests and treatment options.

Diagnosing breast implant infection

Diagnosing a breast implant infection typically involves a combination of clinical evaluation, medical history review, and diagnostic tests. The process may include the following:

Physical Examination

A healthcare professional, usually a plastic surgeon, will examine the affected breast for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, tenderness, or abnormal discharge. They will also assess the overall condition of the breast implant and surrounding tissue.

Medical History Review

The surgeon will review your medical history, including any previous surgeries, infections, or medical conditions that could increase the risk of infection. They may inquire about symptoms you are experiencing and any recent changes related to the breast implant.

Laboratory Tests

Various laboratory tests may be conducted to aid in the diagnosis of a breast implant infection. These tests may include:

  1. Complete Blood Count (CBC): A CBC measures the levels of different blood cells, including white blood cells. An elevated white blood cell count can indicate an ongoing infection.
  2. Cultures: Samples of the fluid or discharge from the affected breast may be collected and sent for culture and sensitivity testing. This helps identify the specific bacteria causing the infection and determine the appropriate antibiotics for treatment.
    Imaging Studies

    In some cases, imaging studies may be performed to assess the condition of the breast implant and surrounding tissues. These may include:

    1. Ultrasound: Ultrasonography can help visualize the implant and detect fluid collections or abnormalities in the breast tissue.
    2. MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): MRI provides detailed images of the breast and can help assess the extent of infection and identify any associated complications.

    Diagnosing a breast implant infection requires a comprehensive evaluation. The specific diagnostic approach may vary depending on the individual’s symptoms, medical history, and clinical presentation. Prompt and accurate diagnosis is crucial to initiate appropriate treatment and prevent further complications. Book a scan to get started.

    Breast Implant Infection Treatment

    The treatment of a breast implant infection typically involves a combination of approaches, including medical management and, in some cases, surgical intervention. The specific treatment plan may vary depending on the severity of the infection and individual patient factors. It is crucial to book a scan for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. Here are some common treatment options:

    1. Antibiotics: Antibiotic therapy is the mainstay of treatment for breast implant infections. The choice of antibiotics depends on the type of bacteria identified through cultures and sensitivity testing. Oral or intravenous antibiotics may be prescribed for a specific duration to target the infection effectively. It is important to complete the full course of antibiotics as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
    2. Drainage and Irrigation: In cases where there is a localized collection of pus or fluid, your surgeon may perform a drainage procedure. This involves removing the infected material and irrigating the area with a sterile solution to help cleanse the wound and reduce bacterial load.
    3. Implant Removal: In some cases, especially if the infection persists or is severe, temporary removal of the breast implant may be necessary. This allows for proper management of the infection, including complete debridement of infected tissue. After a period of antibiotic treatment and resolution of the infection, a new implant can be placed.
    4. Capsulectomy: If the infection involves the tissue capsule that forms around the breast implant (capsular contracture), a complete or partial capsulectomy may be required. This involves surgically removing the capsule to eliminate the source of infection and promote healing.
    5. Supportive Care: Alongside medical and surgical interventions, supportive care measures can aid in the healing process. These may include regular wound care, proper hygiene, and pain management as prescribed by your healthcare provider.

    Early detection and timely treatment are essential in managing breast implant infections effectively and minimizing potential complications. 

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