Sometimes a bacterial infection can develop in the tissue around a breast implant or tissue expander during the days or weeks following the reconstruction surgery. Symptoms of an infection can include a high fever and breast pain, redness and/or swelling.
If it appears that antibiotics alone won’t clear the infection, then your surgeon may need to clean out the infected tissue and either replace or completely remove the implant or tissue expander. After this surgery, you will need to continue taking oral or IV (intravenous) antibiotics.
About 8-12 weeks later, if the infection has completely cleared, you can in most cases opt to have surgery to reconstruct the breast again — with a tissue expander, implant, or a tissue flap.