Mycobacterium abscessus infection after breast augmentation: a case of contaminated implants?

Evan M. Feldman, Warren A. Ellsworth, IV, Eser Yuksel, Sarah Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Infections after breast augmentation are uncommon, occurring in 1-3% of cases. Treatment often requires additional surgeries and may yield a sub-optimal cosmetic result. For this reason, post implant infection remains a serious concern among plastic surgeons. A 48-year-old female presented to our clinic with bilateral breast implant infections 3 months after primary augmentation in China. Cultures grew Mycobacterium abscessus, a previously undescribed infectious aetiology after breast augmentation. The fastidious nature of the organism often results in a negative acid fast stain and initially sterile cultures. For these reasons, clinical signs of infection in the face of sterile cultures should raise suspicion of Mycobacterium infection among clinicians. While the overall incidence of Mycobacterium infection after breast augmentation is low, it remains an important and often overlooked aetiology for patients with a lack of systemic symptoms and initial sterile cultures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2009


  • Abscessus
  • Augmentation
  • Breast
  • Implant
  • Infection
  • Mycobacterium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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