Implant-Based Breast Reconstruction following Infected Device Explantation: Is a Second Attempt Worth It?

Malke Asaad, Cedar Slovacek, David Mitchell, Jun Liu, Jesse C. Selber, Mark W. Clemens, Carrie K. Chu, Alexander F. Mericli, Charles E. Butler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Infection is a dreaded complication of implant-based breast reconstruction. There is a paucity of literature on the outcomes of a secondary reconstruction after infected implant-based breast reconstruction explantation. Methods: The authors conducted a retrospective study of patients who underwent a second implant-based breast reconstruction following a failed infected device between January of 2006 and December of 2019. Surgical and patient-reported outcomes (BREAST-Q) were collected and analyzed. Results: A total of 6093 implant-based breast reconstructions were performed during the study period, 298 (5 percent) of which involved device removal because of infection. Eighty-three patients ultimately received 92 second-attempt breast implants. Thirty-six percent of cases developed at least one postoperative complication, with infection [23 breasts (25 percent)] being the most common. Compared with first-attempt implant-based breast reconstruction, we found significantly higher infection rates among second-attempt cases (9 percent and 21 percent, respectively; p = 0.0008). Patient-reported satisfaction with the breast and sexual well-being were lower after second-attempt than after first-attempt implant-based breast reconstruction (p = 0.018 and p = 0.002, respectively) reported in the literature. Mean follow-up was 41 ± 35 months. If we exclude patients with prior radiation therapy and those who received device exchange, the success rate is 88 percent. Conclusions: It is reasonable to offer women second-attempt implant-based breast reconstruction after explantation because of infection. However, this patient population has a higher infection and explantation rate and lower patient-reported satisfaction than patients undergoing first-attempt implant-based breast reconstruction. Because of these increased surgical risks and elevated complication rates, patients must be given reasonable expectations during preoperative discussions and when providing informed consent for second-attempt implant-based breast reconstruction. CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Risk, III.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247E-259E
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2022


  • Breast Implantation/adverse effects
  • Breast Implants/adverse effects
  • Breast Neoplasms/etiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Mammaplasty/adverse effects
  • Postoperative Complications/epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Implant-Based Breast Reconstruction following Infected Device Explantation: Is a Second Attempt Worth It?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this