Toxic shock syndrome after breast augmentation

Toxic shock syndrome after breast augmentation

24th Apr 2017

Toxic Shock Syndrome after breast augmentationThere are many reasons why women undergo breast augmentation surgery. It can be done for reconstructive reasons after a radical mastectomy for breast cancer or for aesthetic purposes like having bigger, shapelier and youthful looking breasts. As with any surgical procedure, the breast augmentation surgery comes with accompanying risks and potential complications. Some complications are common and manageable, but there are rare cases that can also be deadly if it is not immediately and properly addressed.

Toxity and Complications

One of the rare and life-threatening complications of a breast augmentation surgery with implants is known as the toxic shock syndrome. This is a result of a lethal bacterial infection that is caused by bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus or the group A streptococcus bacteria. With this, the bacterial infection reaches the blood and the whole body is affected.

Toxic shock syndrome is caused by a bacterial infection so the symptoms can mimic any other bacterial infection. When the infection is not properly dealt with immediately, it can enter the blood stream and cause major organ damage such as the toxic shock syndrome. It is fatal if left unattended. When a patient is diagnosed with this life-threatening emergency, it will require immediate removal of the implant and close medical attention. It is therefore very important for patients to have themselves checked and treated if they suspect any infection.

Antibiotics are prescribed after surgery to lessen the risk of developing an infection but patients should clearly understand the importance of keeping wound clean and sterile. Symptoms may vary from one patient to another but if toxic shock syndrome is suspected, patient is advised to go for immediate check-up. Common symptoms include, but not limited to, sudden fever, nausea, vomiting, rash, seizures, low blood pressure, breast pain and more. Swab and blood culture tests can determine if infection that could lead to toxic shock syndrome is present. It can also identify the type of bacteria causing the infection.

Those who have toxic shock syndrome need to be immediately confined in the hospital and may be put in the intensive care unit for several days so that the medical staff can closely monitor them. To treat the infection, surgeon will prescribe intravenous antibiotics for prompt relief. This antibiotic helps kill the bacteria that are causing the infection and the toxic shock syndrome in the body. The surgeon will also need to drain the pus or blood from the infected wound. Severe infection will necessitate immediate removal of the implants so that the body can completely heal itself from the infection.

Although the implants will be removed, you can still have replacement implants once you have fully healed from the infection and when the wound closes. Some patients do not take the risk of undergoing another surgery because of the danger they went through. For others, they still go for the replacement surgery but they take extra precautions to prevent recurrence of life threatening infection.

Proper hygiene and sterile wound care and cleaning can prevent any infection from developing. Choosing a board certified, highly skilled and experienced surgeon and a sterile, well-equipped medical facility is likewise crucial because infection can arise from improper procedure. Be wary of budget surgeons and hole-in-the-corner facilities. Do not pinch pennies with your health since your life can be at stake.


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