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With any surgical procedure that is done today - there is always a small risk of the possibility of an infection occurring.  An infection can become noticeable within 7–10 days postoperatively; however can usually noticeable at any point following surgery.  


                               Infection risk and complication on

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Symptoms of infection include:

  • fever

  • swelling

  • discomfort

  • pain

  • drainage

  • inflammation or redness

  • cellulitis around the incision and the actual breast


Most surgeons, if they suspect an infection will take a swab of the actual drainage and send it to a laboratory for typing, so they know firsthand what type of antibiotics will target the specific infection.  Caught early enough – most patients will only need to have antibiotic therapy without any surgical intervention. 

However, if the infection is bad enough, then the implant might be removed until the infection clears up on its own.  If the implant needs to be removed following an infection, typically it is replaced within a 3-6 month time frame. 


Common strains of bacteria that can contribute to infection:

  • Staphylococcus epidermidis

  • Staphylococcus aureus

These two strains of bacteria are common because staph lives on our skin at all times. 


If the implant is not removed, sometimes an infection in an affected breast can result in capsular contracture later on.  During the surgical procedure, you will normally get an IV of antibiotics to help fight off any potential infection, but it is very important that the patient takes extreme care of the surgical site postoperatively. 



Important Facts to Know Regarding Infections 

  • Important things to remember are not to submerge your incision into a tub full of water or to get the incision wet in a Jacuzzi/swimming pool – until your own plastic surgeon has released you to do so.  The incision usually needs to be completely closed and healed before any of these activities are considered safe.

  • Not touching the incision with your hands will help tremendously with keeping the surgical area sterile.  Do not apply scar treatments – lotions – and or oils to the incision until your own plastic surgeon has told you it is safe to do so.  Bacteria can reside in some ointments, so keeping the incision dry and free of anything foreign is in your best interest. 

  • With the transaxillary incision, your plastic surgeon will also tell you when it is best to start using deodorant again.  Do not apply deodorant while the incision is still open and healing, as this is a way of introducing bacteria into the surgical site.

  • Make sure you finish your complete prescription of oral antibiotics.  Even though you might think you will not need them all, you need to finish the prescription in its entirety.




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