Use of diagnosis codes and/or wound culture results for surveillance of surgical site infection after mastectomy and breast reconstruction

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2010 May;31(5):544-7. doi: 10.1086/652155.


We compared surveillance of surgical site infection (SSI) after major breast surgery by using a combination of International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification diagnosis codes and microbiology-based surveillance. The sensitivity of the coding algorithm for identification of SSI was 87.5%, and the sensitivity of wound culture for identification of SSI was 78.1%. Our results suggest that SSI surveillance can be reliably performed using claims data.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Bacteriological Techniques
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Culture Media
  • Female
  • Humans
  • International Classification of Diseases*
  • Mammaplasty / adverse effects*
  • Mammaplasty / methods
  • Mastectomy / adverse effects*
  • Mastectomy / methods
  • Microbiological Techniques
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Surgical Wound Infection / diagnosis*
  • Surgical Wound Infection / epidemiology
  • Surgical Wound Infection / microbiology*


  • Culture Media