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Study shows MRSA likely cause of infection in facelift patients

Article-Study shows MRSA likely cause of infection in facelift patients

New York — A review of data on facelift procedures performed in recent years at an outpatient surgical center here shows that about one-half percent of the patients developed methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections, reports MedicalNewsToday.

The study, conducted by two Lennox Hill-Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital physicians and reported in the March/April issue of Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, is based on a review of charts of 780 patients who underwent facelifts between 2001 and 2007. Of the five (0.6 percent) patients who developed surgical-site infections, four (0.5 percent) tested positive for MRSA.

“The high proportion of MRSA infections compared with other pathogens is likely attributable to a combination of factors,” the authors write. “For surgical-site infections, the facial plastic surgeon should have a high suspicion for MRSA as the causative pathogen.”

In the study, two of the four patients with MRSA-positive infections were admitted for intravenous antibiotic therapy; both had possible exposure to MRSA before surgery. One had spent time with her husband in the cardiac intensive-care unit four months prior and the other had frequent contact with a relative who is a cardiologist.

The study’s authors suggest that with the rise of MRSA infections, plastic surgeons who perform rhytidectomy and other soft-tissue procedures should consider screening protocols to identify patients at risk for MRSA.

“During preoperative evaluation, a full medical history should include information on possible prior contacts with persons at high risk for carrying MRSA,” the authors write, adding that other key risk factors include recent antibiotics use or hospitalization, contact with healthcare workers, previous MRSA infections, older age, diabetes, smoking and obesity.

“Because the medical, psychological and cosmetic sequelae of wound infections can be devastating, every appropriate step should be used to prevent wound infections in facial plastic surgery,” the authors conclude.

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