A prospective study of antibiotic efficacy in preventing infection in reduction mammaplasty

Ahmad H. Ahmadi, Benjamin Cohen, Payam Shayani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The role of prophylactic antibiotics in reduction mammaplasty remains controversial. However, most surgeons choose to use antibiotics. In addition to cost and potential allergic reactions, unnecessary administration of antibiotics can suppress host natural flora and produce resistant organisms. Methods: Fifty patients were sequentially assigned to one of three study limbs: (1) no antibiotics, (2) preoperative antibiotics only, or (3) preoperative and postoperative antibiotics. The study was designed to include approximately 17 patients in each group. Cephalosporin antibiotics were used unless there was any question of allergy, in which case an alternative antibiotic regimen was used. Preoperative data collected on patients included age, body mass index, history of diabetes mellitus, peripheral vascular disease, previous breast surgery, steroid therapy, and tobacco use. Operative data included specimen weight, operative time, estimated blood loss, prolonged intraoperative hypotension, adjunctive axillary and breast tail liposuction, and intraoperative breast tissue culture. Results: The patient population in the three limbs of the study was similar. Thus, there was no significant difference among the groups insofar as the preoperative data were concerned (p > 0.20): age, body mass index, diabetes mellitus, peripheral vascular disease, previous breast surgery, and steroid or tobacco use. Furthermore, no significant difference (p > 0.12) was noted among intraoperative data in the three groups: specimen weight, operative time, estimated blood loss, prolonged hypotension, adjunctive breast liposuction, and positive bacterial culture from intraoperative breast tissue samples. Ninety percent of positive intraoperative breast tissue cultures revealed Staphylococcus epidermidis. Using strict criteria, the infection rate ranged from 19 to 20 percent. There was no significant difference (p > 0.91) in rate of infection among the three study limbs. There was, however, a significant reduction (p = 0.002) in delayed wound healing in the group that received preoperative antibiotics only. Among the studied risk factors for infection, only positive intraoperative culture of breast tissue was significant (p = 0.008) for development of infection. There was a significant association between delayed wound healing and infection (p = 0.003). Conclusions: This prospective study did not find that prophylactic antibiotics in reduction mammaplasty have an effect on infection; however, a single preoperative dose significantly improved wound healing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)126-131
Number of pages6
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Volume116
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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