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pHDPE Implant Tied to Increased Infection Risk Post-Rhinoplasty

Last Updated: August 28, 2012.

For patients undergoing rhinoplasty, the use of porous high-density polyethylene and expanded polytetrafluoroethylene implants is associated with increased risk of infection, according to a study published online Aug. 27 in the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery.

TUESDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- For patients undergoing rhinoplasty, the use of porous high-density polyethylene (pHDPE) and expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) implants is associated with increased risk of infection, according to a study published online Aug. 27 in the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery.

Andrew A. Winkler, M.D., from the University of Colorado in Denver, and colleagues examined the incidence of infection and extrusion of pHDPE and ePTFE implants used in 662 patients who underwent rhinoplasty procedures performed by three surgeons from 1999 to 2008.

The researchers found that the incidence of postoperative infection was 2.8 percent. Alloplastic material had been used in each case complicated by infection. In one of five rhinoplasty procedures in which pHDPE implants were used, infections occurred. The infection rate for patients in whom ePTFE was used alone was 5.3 percent. In 12 percent of patients in whom an alloplast was used during surgery, exposure developed. On bivariate analysis, sex, surgeon, purpose of procedure, current tobacco use, or history of cocaine use did not correlate with infection.

"In conclusion, the use of pHDPE and ePTFE implants in rhinoplasty is associated with an increased risk of postoperative infection," the authors write. "Caution is recommended when using pHDPE in rhinoplasty, especially as a columellar strut, although there may be situations in which the increased risk is acceptable."

One of the authors is a consultant for Ora Inc.

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