Pec implants for staph carrier?

I was scheduled to receive pec implants, and a routine presurgical nasal screen for MRSA came back positive for staph (not MRSA). My doctor told me that I am a carrier for staph, and both he and my surgeon stated that it wasn't worth the risk (concerned over general skin infections / capsular contraction). I have wanted implants for quite a while, and I would still like to get them if it is actually safe to do so. Is it worth seeking out another surgeon or should I leave well enough alone?

Doctor Answers 1

Staphylococcal carrier and pec augmentation with pectoral implants: Yes? No?

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Thank you for your very interesting question.

We do not routinely screen for this in Canada so I am quite certain Canadian plastic surgeons have operated many times on patients carrying the Staph when doing breast or body implant surgery.

If you are carrier, there are methods to eradicate the virus from your system.  

I would also use preoperative maneuvers to minimize any infectious risk with surgery. During surgery, minimal touching of the implant to skin should be done, IV intraoperative antibiotic; I also wash the pocket and the implants with 3 antibiotics and change my gloves right before inserting the implants.  And after surgery, prophylactic antibiotics would be recommended. I also ask my patient to trim the underarm hair to very short but not to shave as fresh micro-cuts are known to increase risk of infections.

As your plastic surgeon, I would make sure you understand the slightly increased risk of infections but I think if all precautions are taken, your risk is still minimal.

As for capsular contracture and the theory of bacterial colonization around the implants, I would stress the fact that it is much harder to deform our soft but solid body implants as opposed to breast gel  implants.

Hope this helps!

Kind regards,

Dr. Marc DuPere, Aesthetic, cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgeon


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