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A 48-year-old female asked:

i my 1st breast implants 34 yrs ago. this yr. i've had removed, replace b/c ruptures. left breast is fine. 2 more b/c infected. i am looking at 3 options. which one would you pick.

5 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jeffrey Kyllo
Plastic Surgery 40 years experience
If : If i understand correctly, you have had 2 infections involving your right breast? Were the implants removed each time? If you had an infection that involved the implant, you will need to have the implant removed and left out for a period of time to allow the tissues to heal. I would normally wait at least 3 months before considering replacing an implant after an infection. I would really need more information to give you any detailed advice. However, there is really no reason why you should not be able to have a successful outcome but it may take time/.
Dr. Adam Hamawy
Plastic Surgery 25 years experience
The : The body usually has a very difficult time healing a breast implant (or any implant) that is infected. In serious cases like this the best option is to remove both the implants and let your body recover. After the infection has completely resolved and your swelling has gone down, new implants can be placed. Most plastic surgeons like to wait at least 3 months however some may require more time depending on how your tissues recover after the implants are removed.
Dr. David Levens
Plastic Surgery 39 years experience
It : It would be best to consult with a plastic surgeon in person to determine the best course of treatment for you. Hopefully, you have found a caring surgeon who is doing well for you with surgical care, after care and reassurance. Of course rupture after 34 years is not at all unusual. Now the infection issue is unfortunately not an uncommon problem for which a thorough evaluation and good judgement will help sort out the options and solve your problem. A wound infection that is not deep and involving the implant space can usually be treated without having to remove the implant. However, if there is communication with the implant, it is often necessary to remove the implant to properly treat the infection. The most reliable treatment is then to wait a few months after removal, antibiotics and complete resolution before placing a new implant. Consider a second opinion if you are not getting the answers and reassurance that you need.
Dr. Robert Brueck
Plastic Surgery 48 years experience
I : I think where you go from here depends on how you feel about your body image.If you are fine then all is well.If you want to ge forward with new implants consult with your plastic surgeon and perhaps an infectious disease doctor.A fair amount of time needs to elapse before you put new implants into an area where one was removed because of infection.
Dr. Otto Placik
Plastic Surgery 34 years experience
There : There are many issues here and I am not clear on the details. You state you are looking at 3 options but have not listed these. The traditional treatment for a truly infected implant is removal and antibiotics based on cultures followed by a waiting period which varies by surgeon. Some surgeons try to remove and immediately replace with a whole specturm of antibiotic therapy. Others advise remove and replacement with your own vascularized tissues. Lastly, the option of removal and fat grafting is a more recent alternative which is currently being evaluated.

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