Preoperative Octenidine Application in Breast Reconstruction Surgery.


Postoperative infection in implant-based reconstructive breast surgery is a common problem. The preoperative application of a disinfecting washing agent may reduce postoperative infection rates. This retrospective analysis aimed to evaluate whether preoperative Octenisan® application yields a reduction in postoperative complications or infection rates in breast reconstructive surgery.

Patients and methods

Between 2016 and 2019, 127 women received implant-based breast reconstruction at the municipal hospital of Cologne, Holweide, Germany. A total of 197 treatments were performed. After giving consent, patients were asked to use Octenisan® wash lotion for five days before breast reconstructive surgery. All patients were asked by a simple questionnaire whether they performed showering and washing according to the proposed protocol. In 96 cases patients did adhere to the protocol. In 101 cases they did not. Patient cohorts were then divided into patients who had applied Octenisan® wash lotion and patients who had not. Endpoints were defined as minor complications with no implant loss and major complications with consecutive implant loss.


Patient adherence to the application regimen was 48.7%. Overall minor complications occurred in 34.4% with preoperative Octenidine usage and 36.6% without preoperative Octenidine usage. Major complications happened in 7% with preoperative Octenidine and 5% without Octenidine. Overall, there was no significant difference concerning minor or major complication rates.


Preoperative washing protocols involving the Octenisan® wash lotion is relatively cheap and easy to follow. There is evidence that washing protocols result in a reduction of S. aureus infections leading to a better perioperative outcome. Octenisan® is safe to use in implant-based breast reconstructive surgery and is not associated with higher risks for patients. Our study did not yield any significant reduction in perioperative and postoperative complication and infection rates. This is attributed to a relatively low study population. Wash lotion compliance was only 48.7%. Proper patient education is crucial. With those preliminary data, it is now possible to design a larger analysis since patient adherence to washing protocol with Octenisan® wash lotion has been established.


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