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QUESTION

Would Cephalexin be Strong Enough to Clear Infection in my Breast Implant?

I had Breast Augmentation surgery 8 days ago. I was sent home from the surgery centre with a 5 day prescription of Cephalexin. 2 days after finishing the perscription, my left breast became sore and slightly red. The doctor removed the stitches today and said the incision has healed nicely but prescribed another 7 days of Cephalexin for the apparent infection in my left breast. I am wondering if this antibiotic is strong enough or if some more aggressive treatment should be used on the infection?

ANSWER

Antibiotics for breast implant infection

Thanks for the question. Implants are not part of your body's natural tissue and can be more prone to infection and less able to clear infections compared to your natural tissue. Some doctors will typically use Keflex (cephalexin) in all post-operative cases to reduce the chance of infection. Technique during surgery is even more important, including irrigation of the pocket with triple antibiotic irrigation solution, minimal handling of the implant and meticulous closure. I have treated patients with implant infections (fortunately none of my own). Treatment can include oral antibiotics. Many times, if I truly suspect an infection, IV antibiotics may be required as aggressive treatment can be required. Part of the evaluation may include physical exam and history as well as lab work (checking your white count). Sometimes an infected implant is not salvageable and must be removed. Also, infection can be associated with capsular contracture in the future. Be sure to stay in close communication with your surgeon. Report any changes including fever, increased redness (many times marking the redness with a felt tip pen can be a good way to track whether it is getting larger or smaller) or drainage. I hope this helps!

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