Is infection possible after breast augmentation?
The breast augmentation method using implants entails the insertion of implants inside the breasts to create more volume and improve the aesthetic appearance of the breasts. The procedure is very popular in the United States and has been performed with a high success rate for over 50 years now. What you should know about the breast augmentation procedure is that it is very safe and the implants we use are the latest generation, very durable, and FDA-approved.
The procedure is a complex one and requires skills and experience to perform it and achieve satisfactory results. Moreover, the experience of the plastic surgeon will also play an important role in guiding the patient in choosing the right type of implants suitable for her anatomy.
Just like all other plastic surgery procedures, breast augmentation surgery can entail risks and potential complications. In this article, we will discuss breast augmentation with implants and the risk of developing an infection after the procedure.
Breast augmentation: How, when, for whom
Breast augmentation surgery is performed by using silicone or saline solution implants that are inserted into the breasts. The procedure is performed with the patient under general anesthetic and can take up to two hours.
The procedure begins with the plastic surgeon making incisions that will be used to insert the implants. The incisions can be positioned either around the areola’s edge (periareolar incision), in the fold under the breasts (inframammary incision) or under the arms (transaxillary incision). The type of incision that is suitable for you will be decided together with the plastic surgeon during the pre-operative consultation.
When small silicone implants or saline solution implants are used, the periareolar incision can be a good option. These incisions are not too large so they are good for saline solution implants. With saline implants, the surgeon will insert the implants empty and fill them with liquid after they are placed inside the breasts. Larger silicone implants will require a different approach, usually an inframammary incision. The transaxillary incision is not so much used nowadays as it allows for little visibility for the plastic surgeon while inserting the implants. It is also known as the “blind method.” For patients who will get the periareolar or transaxillary incision, it is important to know that in the case of an additional procedure to remove or replace the implants, the plastic surgeon won’t be able to use these incisions again so he will make an inframammary incision for the second procedure.
After the incisions are made, the surgeon will cut through the tissues of the breasts to create a pocket under the pectoral muscles or the mammary gland. This pocket will accommodate the breast implants. The incisions are sutured with stitches and an elastic bandage is put on the surgical area.
As we have mentioned before, the procedure entails risks and potential complications, so you should undergo it only when you are sure you can accept them. If complications occur, additional procedures might be required. The patient should be aware of this risk and also budget the cost of additional procedures even before undergoing the initial procedure.
A good time to undergo a breast augmentation procedure is when you know you are done having children, so you don’t plan any pregnancies in the future. Pregnancy and breastfeeding, as well as breastfeeding, are some of the factors that can alter the appearance of the breasts. This means that if you undergo breast implant surgery and get pregnant again, chances are the results achieved with the procedure to be affected. Other than this, there is no risk of getting pregnant and even breastfeeding after getting implants.
When it comes to the best time of getting breast implants, you should know that your weight is also important. Weight fluctuations impact the appearance of the breasts. This means that if you plan to lose weight, it would be ideal to postpone the procedure until you have reached a normal weight; otherwise, the breasts might become saggy, and the results of the breast augmentation could be ruined.
The breast augmentation procedure should only be performed on patients who have a fully developed mammary gland. This means that the general recommendation is to wait until you are 18 years old to get saline solution implants and 22 years old to get silicone breast implants.
A good candidate for the procedure doesn’t have severe health conditions that are considered contraindications to surgery and is emotionally and mentally stable. Moreover, the patient should be committed to following the recommendations of the plastic surgeon for the post-operative recovery to ensure satisfactory results are achieved and severe complications avoided.
Recovery period after breast augmentation
After the procedure is performed, the patient can usually resume work and all other daily activities within the first two weeks. Pain and discomfort that can occur after breast augmentation can be easily alleviated with the help of analgesic medication prescribed by the plastic surgeon. Applying ice packs on a piece of cotton cloth placed over the breasts can also help reduce swelling and bruising after the procedure. Avoiding sudden arm movements is advised especially during the first week after the procedure to avoid unnecessary pain and the opening of the surgical incisions.
The patient is advised to sleep on the back for at least three weeks post-op and avoid any pressure and rubbing on the breasts. Sexual intercourse is also to be avoided during the first month after breast augmentation as it might trigger swelling and discomfort.
Is infection possible after breast augmentation surgery?
While performed mostly for aesthetic purposes, breast augmentation is surgery nevertheless. Infection is always a risk that we need to take into consideration.
Antibiotic treatment prescribed for five days post-op as well as rigorous aseptic measures taken during the operation can prevent the occurrence of infection after breast augmentation surgery. An experienced plastic surgeon will put the implants through an antibacterial solution before inserting them in their pockets in the breasts. Antibiotics will be given to the patient through the IV when the procedure is performed, and the treatment should be continued during the first week after. If these three conditions have been met, the chances of developing an infection after breast augmentation surgery are minimal, but they still exist.
There are factors that can trigger an infection during the recovery period, mostly improper hygiene of the surgical area. Your plastic surgeon will talk to you about the importance of keeping the operated area clean and dry at all times after the procedure. This means that you should clean it only with the products recommended by the plastic surgeon and not use other creams and gels on the incisions until they are completely closed.
Even if infections occur only in rare cases after breast augmentation surgery, it is important for the patient to recognize the symptoms and get medical help as soon as possible to avoid more severe complications. The main symptoms of infection are intense pain, high fever, pus coming from the incisions, redness in the operated area, and inflammation. While a certain level of pain and discomfort is normal after breast augmentation surgery, the pain that occurs in the case of infection is often intense and associated with other symptoms. Contact your plastic surgeon or go to a nearby hospital as soon as you notice one or more signs of infection to get treatment.
Bigger, rounder, perkier breasts are possible nowadays with the help of plastic surgery. The most commonly performed procedure in the United States for breast augmentation is breast implant surgery. The procedure entails the use of a prosthesis or implants that are inserted into the tissues of the breasts to increase their volume. The procedure is safe and provides permanent results; however, make sure to choose a board-certified and experienced plastic surgeon to play out your procedure to minimize the risks that can be associated with it.
Many patients interested in undergoing the procedure ask if an infection can occur after breast augmentation surgery. In the case of open incisions, there is always a risk of developing an infection, especially if the safety measures are not respected or if the patient doesn’t follow the recommendations of the plastic surgeon.
To avoid an infection, the plastic surgeon will give the patient antibiotics through the IV during the surgery, the implants will be thoroughly cleaned with an antibacterial solution before being inserted into the tissues of the breasts, and the patient will be prescribed antibiotics for five more days post-op.
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