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12.10.2017 | Case Report | Ausgabe 2/2018

Aesthetic Plastic Surgery 2/2018

Indolent Rib Osteomyelitis Following Breast Implant Reconstruction: An Unusual Case and Review of the Literature

Aesthetic Plastic Surgery > Ausgabe 2/2018
Luke Watson, Darryl Dunn, Grant Fraser-Kirk


Rib osteomyelitis is an infrequently occurring but important complication of breast implant surgery. Although prosthetic or surgical site infection (SSI) and rib osteomyelitis as separate entities are well described in the literature, only five cases of rib or sternal osteomyelitis related to implant placement have been reported globally. Historically patients who experience this complication have not demonstrated an identifiable prevalence of the traditional risk factors associated with SSI or rib osteomyelitis. This report describes the sequence of clinical manifestations of an unusual case of breast implants complicated by rib osteomyelitis. A 56-year-old female underwent mastectomy and insertion of tissue expanders for bilateral invasive ductal carcinoma following which the tissue expanders became infected in the early postoperative period and were subsequently removed. The patient underwent successful expander insertion and subsequent implant exchange surgery several years later and enjoyed an uncomplicated recovery from this. Following nipple reconstruction more than 12 months after successful implant placement, she presented with Staphylococcus epidermidis bacteremia and a left-sided clinical peri-implant infection. Upon removal of her implant, an intraoperative discovery of rib necrosis/osteomyelitis was made for which she was treated. To provide context, the literature was reviewed for other reported cases of rib osteomyelitis following breast implant surgery. This patient, in combination with others reported in the literature, emphasises the diagnostic difficulties posed by this condition as a result of its low incidence and variable or absent clinical features.

Level of Evidence V

This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors www.​springer.​com/​00266.

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