Delayed leech-borne infection with Aeromonas hydrophilia in escharotic flap wound.

Ardehali B, Hand K, Nduka C, Holmes A, Wood S. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2006;59(1):94-5.


Medicinal leeches (Hirudo medicinalis) are commonly used in plastic surgery for the salvage of congested flaps and replanted parts compromised by venous congestion. Infection associated with leech therapy is a documented complication of leech application, with reported incidences ranging from 2.4 to 20% [De Chalain TM. Exploring the use of the medicinal leech: a clinical risk-benefit analysis. J Reconstr Microsurg 1996;12(3): 165-72.1]. We describe a case of delayed leech-borne infection, from the escharotic portion of a latissimus dorsi flap, which developed several days after stopping leech therapy for venous congestion in a reconstructed breast.