Nose jobs or ‘rhinoplasty’ done using a common type of plastic implant like Medpor increases the chances of infection.
Currently, one in five nose jobs is done using Medpor which is a product obtained from porous, high density polythene. In most cases, the implant poked out of the surgical wound as a result of getting infected.
Dr. Andrew Winkler, plastic surgeon at University of Colorado, Denver who led the study said that the infection rates using Medpor were high and startling. Before using Medpor for certain nose jobs, the pros and cons should be weighed carefully first. Infections were not seen in patients who were grafted tissues from other parts of their body like nose, ear or rib cartilage.
In the study to assess nose job infection, medical records of almost 659 patients who underwent the surgery for reconstructive purpose or cosmetic requirements were analyzed. All the procedures were conducted by three surgeons at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. Most of these were done without artificial implants.
Medor or Gore-Tex which are the most commonly used implants in the US was used in 151 cases. In all, 19 cases of infection were reported in patients who were given plastic implants. In one case, the implant protruded through the skin. Winkler said that although grafting rib cartilage is the best solution, this is not always practicable.
The infection rate using Medpor was 19 percent as compared to infection rate of five percent using Gore-Tex. This proved that Gore-Tex is safer compared to Medpor. But, the two implants are for different purposes. While one is soft, the other is stiff which makes their interchange impossible.
Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel from Boston Medical Center said that antibiotics are insufficient to treat infections due to implants. The only solution is removal of implant leading to another surgery. He added that using tissues grafted from the patients’ body for the procedure is possible but more time consuming than plastic implants. Although there are risks of complications while using cartilage, they are minimal.
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