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Obes Surg. 2008 Jun;18(6):721-7. doi: 10.1007/s11695-007-9252-6. Epub 2008 Mar 26.

Wound infections in body contouring mastopexy with breast reduction after laparoscopic adjustable gastric bandings: the role of smoking.

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Department of General Surgery, University of Tor Vergata, via Montpellier 1, Rome, Italy.



We retrospectively reviewed charts of 42 postbariatric patients who underwent mastopexy and breast reduction for body contouring to determine whether a significant relationship existed between cigarette smoking and postoperative wound infections and to determine the relative risk given by cigarettes and a cut-off value to predict infections.


We excluded patients with ongoing clinical infections, recent bariatric surgery (within 1 year), recent antibiotic courses, or systemic diseases such as arteriosclerosis and diabetes mellitus.


All patients underwent bariatric surgery with the laparoscopic adjustable gastric bending technique and mastopexy with breast reduction for body contouring. Postoperative infections were present in 35.7% (n = 15) of patients, and 60% of these (n = 9) were superficial. Furthermore, 66.7% of them occurred in smoker patients, and 41.7% of smokers vs. 27.8% of nonsmokers developed infections. Significant differences between infected vs. infection-free patients were present for the number of pack years (p < 0.001) and the overall estimated cigarettes smoked (p < 0.001). A cut-off value of approximately 6.85 pack years (50,000 overall estimated cigarettes) distinguished between infections vs. infections-free patients, with 25% of false positives and 8% of false negatives. Relative risk conferred by smoking was 3.8.


The incidence of infections in our series of postbariatric patients undergoing mastopexy and breast reduction is 35.7%. A cut-off of 6.85 pack years (50,000 estimated overall cigarettes) was determined and, according to this value, the relative risk conferred by smoking was 3.8.

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