Infectious Complications following Breast Reconstruction Using Tissue Expanders in Patients with Atopic Dermatitis

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Infectious complications represent one of the most prominent factors contributing to tissue expander (TE) loss in breast reconstruction procedures. Several patient characteristics that increase the risk for surgical-site infection or TE infection have been reported, but no study has focused on the relationship between atopic dermatitis (AD) and TE infection or surgical-site infection. Recently, we investigated 203 cases of breast reconstruction surgeries performed using TEs and noted that all 3 patients who had AD developed infectious complications that ultimately led to TE removal. Considering its pathophysiology, it is likely that patients with AD relatively easily develop infectious complications due to barrier dysfunction, abnormalities in innate immune responses, or colony formation by Staphylococcus aureus. Particular caution should be exercised for breast reconstruction using man-made materials in cases complicated by AD.

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