How is an infection after breast reduction treated?

For many years now, women have started to undergo breast reduction procedures mainly due to the health issues that heavy, large breasts can cause. The breasts undergo size and shape transformations throughout a woman’s life due to many factors such as genetics, hormonal imbalances, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and the natural aging process.

Functional and aesthetic issues due to the large size of the breasts can occur even from an early age, but they can also create discomfort for more mature women. Reducing the size of the breasts is a personal decision, as is the case with undergoing any other type of plastic surgery intervention; however, there can be a strong medical indication for the procedure as well. Often, this is the case for patients with a hyperdevelopment of the breasts that makes daily life a struggle for them. Overly large breasts are often associated with functional issues, modifications of body posture, pain, dermatological conditions, as well as physical and emotional discomfort.

The procedure is a fairly commonly performed one nowadays and provides good results in a vast majority of cases. However, just like any other surgical procedure, it can entail certain risks and complications. Among these risks are infection.

Infection is a complication that can theoretically occur after any type of surgical intervention. Breast reduction surgery entails significant incisions to allow the plastic surgeon to eliminate the amount of mammary gland that is in excess. The infection can occur on the incisions left behind by the surgery. Most plastic surgeons will perform breast reduction surgery with the patient under general anesthesia and connected to an IV which will also have antibiotics in it. Moreover, the plastic surgeon will often prescribe antibiotics for five days post-op with exactly the same purpose in mind: to prevent a potential infection. If this protocol is not followed or if the conditions in the operating room are not up to the standard, an infection can occur in the days following the intervention. The patient’s lack of proper care for the wounds can also trigger an infection.

To avoid the infection from getting serious, it is important for the patient to report even it even from the early signs. This means that if you are experiencing high fever, intense pain in the breasts, redness or pus coming from the incisions, you should contact the plastic surgeon or your doctor immediately.

The common treatment for infection is antibiotics which will be prescribed either by the plastic surgeon or your doctor. Infection can trigger life-threatening complications, so make sure to contact your plastic surgeon as soon as you notice any symptoms of infection or if you are experiencing side effects that were not discussed before the procedure. It is also important not to be alone at home for the first 24-48 hours after breast reduction surgery.

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