Implant removal fears

Hi everyone,


After some advice/reassurance/experience of anyone who has had to face having an implant removed due to infection please. Sorry it’s a bit long winded!


I had left MX with immediate silicone implant recon on 3rd June. I have had to have the area aspirated several times due to build up of seroma around the site to take pressure off the wound. Suddenly on Weds 3rd July I woke up to a red inflamed boob. On Thursday 4th I was admitted via a&e with high temp and cellulitis over the area for IV antibiotics. I had aspiration on Monday 7th and there was no infection in the fluid removed.  I had 5 types of AB over the week I was in, went home with a 6th type, was given a 7th type by my consultant the next day and the 6th was withdrawn and an 8th type added yesterday. I feel fine and the swelling has reduced a lot from when it was at its peak but the skin is still very red and quite warm. 


I have to take the new pills this weekend and go back on Monday morning. I am nil by mouth from 7am Monday as the surgeon will decide if I need surgical intervention and if so will do it on Monday afternoon.


If she decides to operate and it’s not too bad inside she will remove implant, flush it all out and put it back in. If it looks nasty in there she will leave it out and I’ll have to stay with an empty skin pocket till it’s all healed and calmed down and have another recon op later on.


I really don’t want that to happen and am dreading it. They have told me the infection is in the skin not around the implant but the longer it stays the risk of spread is there. 


Has this happened to anyone else? The thought of spending months with an ugly flat pocket of skin terrifies me and then having to basically start over and go through it all again. Even if it stays in I have the whole healing process to repeat with skin that is already inflamed. I was originally signed off work for 4 weeks but that has already extended to 9 and depending on what happens on Monday who knows? 


Guess I’d just like to hear from anyone else who’s had a similar issue and how it turned out? I’m feeling really disheartened about it all as I actually feel fine and my chest is not even that sore anymore (it’s mostly numb from cut nerves but surrounding area I can feel is no longer painful), but the skin inflammation just won’t go. 


Sorry I told you it was long, so thanks if you’ve stayed to the end!


Kate x

Hi Kate


I’m so sorry you’re going through this.


i had a similar situation a couple of years ago. I was diagnosed with breast cancer and decided to have a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction. After all the inflations I had the implants put in. One side (ironically the side without cancer) became red and inflamed and after several weeks of antibiotics I had to have the implant removed, have five days of IV antibiotics and let it heal again. I then had it inflated again and another smaller implant put in five months later. 


At the time I felt so disheartened, as I had felt like I was nearly there and then back to square one and I worried about what the next op and how it would turn out - and also how it would look in the meantime. I also didn’t know anyone in this situation. Fortunately the next op was successful and I’ve had no problems with the reconstruction since. 


I really hope that it all works out for you and that you don’t need further surgery but I just wanted to let you know you’re not alone and that it can still work out in the end.


sending you lots of love and luck.  Jo xxxx