What Infection Symptoms to look for After Breast Implants?

I had my breast implants put in a few weeks ago and I want to make sure that I keep an eye out for any symptoms related to an infections. Are there any specific symptoms that are more important to catch early than others? There are definitely standard symptoms for all infections. But I want to know of any unique symptoms related to breast implants.


F, 24, Florida

Bacterial infection is a potential risk after breast augmentation or any invasive procedure.

First and most importantly, I can’t offer you specific advice to your situation without a direct consultation. Definitely keep in touch with your plastic surgeon and contact them immediately if you are concerned that you may have an infection following breast implant surgery.

There are multiple possible signs to look for, although no one sign alone is a clear indicator of infection. Signs of infection may include inflammation, a red color, pain or fever. Additional indicators include flu-like symptoms, swollen lymph nodes, chills and excessive sweating at night.

A red color alone after breast augmentation surgery is not necessarily a sign of an infection. If the area looks excessively red, check to see if your breasts also feel hot to the touch. Heat is often a sign of infection.

Likewise, some bruising, inflammation and swelling are a common part of the healing process after plastic surgery and not necessarily a sign of infection. If the swelling increases, however, contact your physician.

While an infected implant is rare, when it does happen the issue needs to be addressed quickly. Left unattended, infection can require implant removal, cause capsular contracture, or even result in toxic shock syndrome.

To reduce the risk of complications with new implants always consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon who has a strong track record and experience with breast augmentation surgery.

It’s common for plastic surgeons to administer prophylactic antibiotics during breast augmentation and again postoperatively.

During the surgery, your surgeon will most likely administer intravenous antibiotics. Following the surgery you will most likely be prescribed oral antibiotics to be taken for 10 days or more. With these and other precautions, infection following breast implant surgery is rather uncommon -- but it does happen and when it does can be extremely serious.

Many women become concerned about itching after breast augmentation and revision surgery. Itching is a normal part of the healing process and without accompanying signs is not likely to be associated with infection.

If you are experiencing breast pain that’s getting progressively worse, or any unusual swelling, redness, fatigue, fever or chills -- you may have a potentially serious bacterial or fungal infection.

There is some evidence that infection increases the risk of scar tissue formation and capsular contracture. If left unattended, infection can also lead to potentially life-threatening toxic shock syndrome.

Keep in mind that the risk of infection extends over a time frame of several weeks following the procedure. Healing time for the incisions is approximately 6 weeks -- before which the pockets are not fully sealed. During that time bacteria can enter the pocket and infect the breast tissue.

To reduce the risk of infection and ensure best practices during your procedure, always consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon.

Dr. Neil Zemmel has 39 Breast augmentation before & afters:

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Thank you for sharing your question.  Signs on infection after surgery are redness, swelling, oozing, pain, and fever.  Redness can occur without an infection which is fine, but if the area is hot to the touch then this may be a sign of infection.  Breasts are usually very swollen after surgery, so this symptom alone is not a sign of infection.  You will need to see a Doctor or your Plastic Surgeon who performed your surgery if you are experiencing symptoms of infection.   I hope this was helpful to you.

Best Wishes, Dr. B.


Dr. A. K. Bhattacharya has 2 Breast augmentation before & afters:

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Sometimes infection signs and symptoms can be very subtle, but typical infection signs are pain, redness, swelling, fevers, drainage, or chills and sweating at night.