M fortuitum and M chelonae are commonly reported in surgical site infections caused by nontuberculous mycobacterium, but M septicum is rarely known. Herein, the authors report the first case of surgical site infection caused by M septicum in an immunocompetent patient after blepharoplasty.
A 37-year-old woman had persisting bilateral masses on the upper eyelids at 3 months after a blepharoplasty. The excision and revision were performed in a local clinic with the administration of the empirical antibiotic (clarithromycin) for 2 months, but the masses recurred. The patient was referred to the authors’ hospital after the steroid was injected. As the right eyelid skin was very thin with the pus pocket, curettage was performed, while the mass on the left eyelid was completely excised. A bacterial, Acid Fast Bacilli culture with antibiotic susceptibility testing, and a DNA-polymerase chain reaction test were performed.
The polymerase chain reaction test identified M septicum. The antibiotic treatment was delayed to identify the susceptibility to antibiotics, but the Acid Fast Bacilli culture result showed no growth. In the meantime, the mass on the right eyelid recurred. Levofloxacin and clarithromycin were administered for 6 months in consultation with the Division of Infectious Diseases. Then the mass was excised. There was no recurrence after 1 year of follow-up.
There are a few reports of M septicum catheter-related infection and pulmonary disease, but surgical site infection has not been reported. When a localized mass on a surgical site is found, surgeons should consider M septicum infection and find out the pathogen with its antibiotics susceptibility.