Reconstructed breasts are at risk for injury from commonly used household warming devices due to decreased or absent sensation following surgery and patients should be counseled about such risks, according to study results published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Global Open.

The researchers reviewed patients from their practice from the last year that had received burn injuries to their reconstructed breasts, and also searched for articles on PubMed for reports of burn injuries in reconstructed breasts.

Five patients were found in the practice’s records. Mean patient age was 46 years (range, 41.3-51.5 years). All patients had bilateral mastectomies with either an implant or expander in place at the time of injury.

One patient sustained a superficial partial thickness burn from an electric heating pad that resolved completely. The other four patients sustained fill thickness burns from a microwaveable heating pad, hot water bottle, hand warmer or an electric blanket.

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