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The semi-permeability of silicone: a saline-filled breast implant with intraluminal and pericapsular Aspergillus flavus

Lookup NU author(s): Paul Wright, Dr Sarah MacFarlane, Joseph O'Donoghue


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Fungal infection of breast implants is a rare complication. Growth of fungi within the Lumen of saline-fitted implants has previously been demonstrated in Laboratory studies, however, clinical infections are rare. We report a case of Aspergillus flavus growth within and around a saline-filled breast implant that was inserted 18 months previously. This was successfully treated with implant removal and wound irrigation. Possible routes of microbial contamination as well as survival mechanisms of organisms within saline-filled implants are discussed. This case reiterates that the silicone envelope of a saline-filled implant is selectively permeable and we believe this is instrumental in facilitating intraluminal microbial growth. This also emphasises the importance of stringent asepsis when dealing with saline-filled breast implants including avoiding contamination of the saline fitting fluid. (C) 2006 The British Association of Plastic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wright PK, Raine C, Ragbir M, MacFarlane S, O'Donoghue J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery

Year: 2006

Volume: 59

Issue: 10

Pages: 1118-1121

ISSN (print): 1748-6815

ISSN (electronic): 1532-1959

Publisher: Churchill Livingstone


DOI: 10.1016/j.bjps.2006.01.020


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