The infection rate for breast augmentation is estimated to be 1.1% to 2.5%, based on multiple studies that have been conducted thus far. (However, there is a lack of consensus on how to actually define “infection”, therefore it is difficult to really say whether this figure is accurate.) There are a few factors that impact the risk of infection for breast surgery, whether it is for aesthetic or functional reasons.
Those specifically related to the surgery are the following:
TYPICAL SYMPTOMS OF INFECTION AFTER BREAST AUGMENTATION
Usual symptoms of bacterial infection include pain and tenderness, swelling, and erythema. Sometimes, there may also be a fever and purulent discharge (pus). Infection usually occurs within the first month (in two thirds of cases), the average being at the eleventh day mark. However, infection can also occur in the months to years after breast augmentation.
The diagnosis of infection is not always straightforward. It can exist just on the surface of the skin (simple cellulitis), be a superficial surgical site infection, or be a deep infection around the implant. A thorough medical examination must be performed, which typically includes a white blood cell count, swabs of discharge (pus) and blood culture (to check for sepsis).
An ultrasound of the breast can also be performed to check for fluid surrounding the implant, however even if there is no fluid present, there still may be an infection. That’s why it’s important to look out for other symptoms.
TREATMENT OF AN INFECTION AFTER BREAST AUGMENTATION
If either a skin or superficial site infection is suspected, oral antibiotics may be sufficient in treating it. In the case of a deep infection around the implant, antibiotics administered by IV tends to be more effective.
You may require surgery if the following occurs:
The Traditional Approach to Surgery
The implant is removed and any fluid present is submitted for testing (microbiology and pathology). A drain is inserted. There is no need to remove the implant (capsulectomy), unless there is a biofilm. Following surgery, antibiotics are administered by IV for two weeks, and then a new implant is placed after a specific infection-free period. Generally, this is in the range of about three to six months
Prevention of Infection
Our Plastic Surgeons take the greatest of care when performing your breast augmentation. There is good evidence that the following techniques contribute to good practices in preventing infection, to which our Plastic Surgeons adhere:
In addition, pre-op prophylactic antibiotics should also be administered as there is good evidence to support them. It is common practice to prescribe antibiotics post-op, although there is more evidence supporting pre-op antibiotics.
Consult With Us
Before undergoing any Plastic Surgery Canada procedure, consult an experienced and reputable Plastic Surgeon. Book your consultation at our plastic surgery clinic in Toronto by calling (416) 256-4194 or by clicking here.Contact Us