Background: 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.
Methods: 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.
Results: 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.
Conclusions: 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.