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Can you have a staph infection under your skin after having a mastectomy?

By Anonymous July 29, 2012 - 6:18pm
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Mastectomy done 12/30/11. Took me 3 months to feel comfortable enough to be at home.
Took physical therapy for 6-8 wks to help with stretching and mobility. I have been tender and sore since the surgery, w/redness, itching, rash, soreness from the surgery site to underneath my arm. There are "ridges" over and under the surgery site. The site is warmer than the rest of my body. Is it possible for an infection to be inside? I saw my surgeon on Thursday and he wants to biopsy again which I will do. He has "never seen anything like it"...do you have any ideas what may be causing this reaction? I can't even wear my bras, have to use a pillow when I'm in a car.

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Hi Anon, 

While it may or may not be a staph infection, it is definitely possible to have an infection at the site of the surgery. Symptoms of a staph infection include: fever, redness at the site, rash at the site, digestive problems, pain in the skin or tissue around the surgical site, and internal organ damage-- if the infection were to spread, this is also known as sepsis. 

You can ask your doctor for a CBC, or complete blood count. This can help detect if there is an infection present.

Best Wishes,


July 30, 2012 - 6:12am
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