Breast reduction surgery is a common procedure that involves removing excess breast tissue to reduce the size of the breasts. While the operation is generally safe, there is always a risk of infection. Infections can occur when bacteria enter the surgical site; if left untreated, they can lead to serious complications. It is important to recognize the signs of infection after breast reduction surgery and seek prompt medical attention if any symptoms are present. In this article, we will discuss the signs of infection, causes, prevention, and treatment options for infections after breast reduction surgery.
Signs Of Infection After Breast Reduction
Certainly, here are the signs of infection after breast reduction surgery:
Redness And Warmth
An infected incision site may appear red, and the surrounding area may feel warm. The redness may spread beyond the incision site and may be accompanied by itching or burning sensations.
Swelling And Inflammation
An infected area may become swollen and inflamed, increasing over time. The swelling can be painful and may make moving the arm on the affected side difficult.
Pain And Tenderness
Pain and tenderness around the incision site are common after breast reduction surgery. However, if the pain or tenderness increases over time or becomes more severe, this could be a sign of infection.
A fever is a common sign of infection. If a patient experiences a fever after breast reduction surgery, it may indicate the presence of a disease.
Pus Or Drainage From The Incision Site
Pus or drainage from the incision site is a clear sign of infection. If this occurs, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
An infected incision site may emit a foul odor. This odor may be accompanied by discharge from the incision site.
An infected incision site may take longer than normal. If a patient notices that their incision site is not healing as quickly as expected, this could be a sign of infection.
Increased Heart Rate
An infection can cause the heart rate to increase. If a patient experiences an elevated heart rate after breast reduction surgery, this could be a sign of infection.
Causes Of Infection After Breast Reduction
Here are some of the common causes of infection after breast reduction surgery:
Bacteria Entering The Surgical Site
During breast reduction surgery, the skin and tissue are cut, creating an opening allowing bacteria to enter. If proper precautions are not taken during surgery, bacteria can enter the surgical site and cause an infection.
Poor Surgical Technique
In some cases, infections can be caused by poor surgical procedures. This can include inadequate cleaning of the surgical site, improper incision closure, or failure to use appropriate surgical tools.
Poor Hygiene Practices After Surgery
After breast reduction surgery, keeping the incision site clean and dry is important to prevent infection. If patients do not follow proper hygiene practices, such as washing their hands before touching the incision site, they can introduce bacteria into the wound and cause an infection.
Underlying Medical Conditions
Certain conditions, such as diabetes or autoimmune disorders, can increase the disease risk after surgery. These conditions can weaken the immune system and make it more difficult to fight off infection.
Smoking can also increase the risk of infection after breast reduction surgery. reduces blood flow to the surgical site, impairing the body’s ability to fight off infection.
Prevention Of Infection After Breast Reduction
Preventing infections after breast reduction surgery involves taking several precautions before, during, and after the procedure. Here are some of the measures that can be taken to prevent infection:
Proper surgical technique
To reduce the risk of infection, the surgeon should use appropriate surgical techniques during the procedure. This includes sterilizing the surgical instruments, wearing gloves and a surgical mask, and properly cleaning the site.
The surgeon may prescribe antibiotics before and after surgery to reduce the risk of infection.
Good hygiene practices
After surgery, keeping the incision site clean and dry is important. Patients should wash their hands before touching the incision site and avoid touching it unnecessarily.
Regular follow-up appointments
Regular appointments with the surgeon can help detect any signs of infection early and prevent serious complications.
Proper wound care
Patients should follow their surgeon’s instructions for caring for the incision site, including keeping it clean and dry, changing dressings as needed, and avoiding activities that could stress the incision site.
If a patient smokes, they should quit before the surgery to reduce the risk of infection.
Treatment Of Infection After Breast Reduction
If a patient develops an infection after breast reduction surgery, prompt treatment is necessary to prevent the infection from spreading and causing serious complications. Here are some common treatment options for infections after breast reduction:
Antibiotics: Depending on the severity of the infection, the surgeon may prescribe oral or intravenous antibiotics to help fight the infection.
Drainage: If the infection has caused a collection of pus, the surgeon may need to drain the area to remove the pus and relieve pressure on the surrounding tissue.
Wound care: The surgeon may provide instructions on how to care for the incision site at home, including changing dressings and keeping the area clean and dry.
Pain management: Patients may be prescribed pain medication to help manage the pain associated with the infection and the surgical procedure.
Follow-up appointments: The surgeon may schedule follow-up appointments to monitor the infection and ensure it responds to treatment.
How Long After Breast Surgery Can You Get An Infection?
Infections can occur anytime after breast surgery but most likely happen within the first few weeks after the procedure.
What Type Of Infection Can You Get After Breast Reduction?
After breast reduction surgery, patients can develop various types of infections, including superficial infections, deep tissue infections, and surgical site infections caused by bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus.
What Does An Infected Breast Incision Look Like?
An infected breast incision may appear red, swollen, and warm to the touch and may also have drainage or pus.
How Long Do Breast Incisions Take To Heal?
Breast incisions can take several weeks to months to fully heal, depending on the size of the incision and the individual’s healing process.
How Do You Clean A Breast Incision?
To clean a breast incision, gently wash the area with mild soap and water and pat it dry with a clean towel.
Breast reduction surgery can be a life-changing procedure for many patients, but it also carries the risk of infection. It is important for patients to be aware of the signs of infection after breast reduction surgery, such as redness, swelling, fever, and drainage, and to take steps to prevent infection, such as following good hygiene practices, taking antibiotics as prescribed, and properly caring for the incision site. If an infection does occur, prompt treatment is necessary to prevent serious complications. By accepting these precautions and seeking appropriate care, patients can reduce the risk of infection and enjoy a safe and successful breast reduction surgery.
Beth is Cloudmineinc’s senior health editor and a certified personal trainer. She has over 10 years experience as a science journalist and is the author of two books. She deadlifts over 315 lbs.