The Federal Centers for Disease Control is urging all plastic surgeons to be on the look out for surgical-site infections caused by rapidly growing Mycobacterial species following plastic surgery in the Dominican Republic.

Doctors should alert their local health department if they come across any new cases.

So far, 15 cases – all resulting from procedures performed in the Dominican Republic – have been identified in five states in the Northeast. Initial cases were reported by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in August 2013, with additional cases identified since then in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania.

All patients were women aged 18-50 who had undergone elective procedures that include abdominoplasty, mammaplasty and liposuction in the Dominican Republic from April through September in 2013. Symptoms have included abdominal abscess, pain, fever and wound discharge. Symptoms of infection developed after return to the United States. Several patients consulted with plastic surgeons after their return who, in turn, notified their state and local health departments. No deaths have occurred.

At least nine of the case-patients had surgery at the same surgical center and were attended by the same surgeon

The advisory is aimed at all plastic surgery; dermatology; primary care; family, emergency and internal medicine; general surgery; infectious disease; laboratory medicine and infection control staff.