A woman’s attempt to enlarge her butt resulted in an unusually delayed and potentially fatal infection that began to rot in her skin, according to Irish doctors. In a new report, they describe how the 29-year-old contracted a rare infection in the same part of her butt where she had been injected with skin fillers more than a year earlier. Although she developed sepsis and endured 18 days in hospital, the woman was able to make a full recovery with antibiotic therapy.
Buttock augmentation has become one of the fastest growing cosmetic procedures. In 2019, more than 30,000 buttock procedures were carried out in the United States, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. (As so much, however, the covid-19 pandemic dramatically reduced people’s appetites for plastic surgery last year.)
There are different types of increase, but they all involve using material to create a rounder, fuller butt. People can get buttock implants, similar to the silicone implants people get for their breasts. Surgeons can also use liposuction to remove fat from elsewhere in the body and then surgically graft it into the buttocks, also known as Brazilian butt lift. The less invasive and cheaper version of the latter procedure injects a synthetic filler instead of fat into the buttocks. It is this last type of cosmetic work that ended up posing a problem for the patient detailed in this new report, which will be presented this week at the annual European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases.
According to the report, the woman went to the emergency room at St James’s Hospital in Dublin, Ireland with symptoms of nausea and an abscess – a swollen and often discolored pocket of pus – near the site where the fillers were injected 14 months previously. Doctors quickly determined that she had developed cellulitis, a common but potentially very serious type of skin infection that can spread elsewhere in the body if not treated quickly enough.
The woman was quickly admitted to hospital and given antibiotics, while the abscess was drained the next day. Five days later, the abscess was drained again and the doctors removed the two fillers she had received as well as 500 milliliters of necrotic (dead) tissue. By this time, it was evident that the infection had spread to her bloodstream and that she was suffering from sepsis, a potentially fatal immune response caused by a generalized infection. The woman was then put on intravenous antibiotics.
Fortunately, within a day of this additional treatment, her condition greatly improved. And by day 18, she was able to be released, although she would have to continue taking antibiotics for the next six weeks. Since then, her initial injury has completely healed and the woman is doing very well, doctors say.
According to doctors, reported complications after receiving skin fillers are rare, but they seem to increase as these procedures become more popular. Even rarer is a person who contracts an infection long after their filling procedure, although this incident is not the record, as the authors cite several cases related to filling where infections appeared several years later. In this case, it is not confirmed why it took so long for the woman’s symptoms to appear, but they have educated guesses.
There were two guilty bacterial suspects found in his wound-Staphylococcus lugdunensis and Pseudomonas orzihabitans. The former is a common source of skin and soft tissue infection, but P. orzihabitans was only rarely involved by causing disease. It’s possible that the surface of the filler allowed these bacteria to form into a biofilm, a sticky, tough collection of bacteria more capable of causing infection. The woman’s damaged tissue around the filler injection also appeared to have tiny air pockets, which may have fueled other infections caused by gas-churning microorganisms that added to her misery. (The actual material used as the filler is not known, but the authors suspect that it is hyaluronic acid, a common ingredient in skin care products as well as a natural component of the skin. )
While this woman’s case is treatable, doctors say it should be an uplifting tale for people exploring similar procedures.
“Pseudomonas oryzihabitans is an unusual cause of human infection, but in recent years it has become increasingly linked to nosocomial and opportunistic infections, ”said lead author Siobhan Quirke, an infectious disease specialist at St James, in a report. declaration of the European Society for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. “Fortunately, treatment is not difficult due to the low level of resistance to common antibiotics. However, this case is a reminder that it is important to choose a reputable cosmetic surgeon.
Fillers aren’t the only relatively risky cosmetic procedure involving the butt. In 2018, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons warned that Brazilian butt facelifts have had a much higher death rate in recent years than any other cosmetic surgery, with death rates reaching one in 3,000 patients. At the time, the organization announced the creation of a working group to study the issue, but some people have already called so that the procedure is totally prohibited.