Women get breast surgery for various reasons. Cosmetic breast augmentation surgery enlarges small-breasted women, lifts sagging breast after weight loss or childbirth or reconstructs breast for women who’ve undergone mastectomies for breast cancer. Like any surgical procedure, you face the possibility of risks and complications after getting breast surgery. Infections around the surgical site are possible complications from breast surgery.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons describes breast surgery. Anesthesiologists administer either intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. Surgeons make incision underneath the breast, around the nipple or under the armpits, depending on implant size and type of implant. These incision locations help you experience less visible scarring. Surgeons place saline or silicone breast implants under pectoral muscles or behind breast tissue and close incision using sutures, skin adhesives or surgical tape. Breast surgery infections occur days, weeks or even long after the procedure.
Staphylococcus bacterial infections often develop four to six weeks after breast surgery. Staph bacteria live harmlessly on the skins surface but cause infection when skin when skin is broken or punctured. The infection appears at the incision site of breast surgery recipients. To prevent staph infections, surgeons scrub skin with a disinfectant before piercing skin and provide instructions on cleaning your wounds, suggesting antibacterial soaps for you to use. BreastImplants4You.com says staph infections occur in less than 2 percent of women who receive breast augmentations. Antibiotics treat this staph infection.
Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA, is an antibiotic resistant infection that occurs in hospital settings. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says this kind of staph infections usually affects people with compromised immune systems but can affect healthy people who are in the hospital for surgical procedures. MRSA is highly contagious, spread by skin-to-skin contact. Good hygiene and clean hospital facilities decrease the chance of contracting this infection after breast surgery. If you contract MRSA, surgeons have to drain fluids from infected breast tissue and apply topical ointments.
Symptoms of infections from breast surgery cause you to feel bad and change the look and feel of your breast. Virginia plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Brown symptoms include not feeling with fever, tender breast and breast appearing sunburned. Other signs of infected breast include swelling, pain, redness, fluid discharges from incisions and a foul odor.
If antibiotics, topical ointment and noninvasive treatments don’t get rid of the infection, surgeons remove implants for a few months and prescribe new antibiotics. You undergo breast surgery once the infection clears up to put in new implants.