Breast Implant Mycobacterial Infections: An Epidemiologic Review and Outcome Analysis

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Abstract

Background:

Epidemiologic evidence of periprosthetic mycobacterial infections is limited. The recent boom in cosmetic surgery tourism has been associated with a rise of surgical-site infections in returning patients. This review aims to explore available data, examine trends of documented periprosthetic mycobacterial infections, and analyze outcomes of management techniques.

Methods:

A search in the Biosis, Embase, LILACS, MEDLINE, and Web of Science databases from inception until December of 2017 for “Breast Implants” and “Mycobacterial Infections” and equivalents was performed. Data were pooled after two screening rounds following full-text retrieval and cross-referencing.

Results:

Forty-one reports describing 171 female patients who had breast prosthesis–related mycobacterial infections were identified. Bibliometric case-based analysis revealed a rise of periprosthetic mycobacterial infections in developing countries since the start of the millennium. The mean patient’s age was 37.9 years and the majority of patients had undergone bilateral breast augmentation. Most patients presented with breast pain or tenderness, after an average incubation period of 9 months. Mycobacterium fortuitum was isolated from 90 cases (52.6 percent). Immediate explantation with or without delayed reimplantation was the most commonly used surgical strategy, complemented by combination antimicrobial therapy for an average of 4.6 months. The mean follow-up time was 39.7 months, during which recurrence was observed in 21 of 171 patients (12.3 percent).

Conclusions:

The emergence of periprosthetic mycobacterial infections in relation to cosmetic medical tourism alerts clinicians to the importance of educating the public about the associated risks. In addition, this study identifies risk factors associated with recurrence of periprosthetic mycobacterial infections.

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