Postsurgical complications have been an increasing concern for hospitals, particularly in light of payment reform. The costs to the health care system are increasing in light of Medicare penalties for readmissions for certain conditions. Surgical site infection following implant-based breast reconstruction (IBR) remains challenging. The rates of positive cultures and isolated microorganisms in IBR are unknown. This systematic review summarizes the reported microorganisms and positive culture rates in the existing literature.
A systematic review was performed using the guidelines outlined in Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses. Articles were included if breast implant infection rates and culture results were reported. Further subgroup analysis of culture positive infections was performed.
A total of 25 studies were included, encompassing 25,177 IBR. Implant infections were reported in 1356 reconstructions (5.4%). Cultures were positive in 74.5% of infections. Gram-positive bacteria were the most common (68.6%), of which Staphylococcus species (51%) was the most isolated pathogen, followed by Pseudomonas. A subgroup analysis showed that early infections (63% vs 88%), radiotherapy (82% vs 93%), and acellular dermal matrix use (90% vs 100%) were associated with lower positive culture rates than their respective counterparts. Patients who received chemotherapy had higher positive culture results (94% vs 83%). Isolated microorganisms also varied among the subgroups.
This systematic review outlines reported microorganisms in IBR. Staphylococcus species and Pseudomonas were the most frequently reported microorganism. Negative cultures were reported in up to 25.5% of infections. Patients with early infections, radiotherapy, and acellular dermal matrix demonstrated higher negative culture rates. This review can help guide the use of empirical antimicrobial therapy in IBR.