Complications associated with postoperative antibiotic prophylaxis after breast surgery

Alyssa D. Throckmorton, Tanya Hoskin, Sarah Y. Boostrom, Judy C. Boughey, Andrea C. Holifield, Melissa M. Stobbs, Larry M. Baddour, Amy C. Degnim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: Evidence supports single-dose preoperative antibiotic (ABX) prophylaxis for breast surgery; however, limited data exist regarding the incidence and type of antibiotic complications postoperatively. Methods: Breast/axillary surgeries between July 2004 and June 2006 were reviewed. Complications were analyzed by antibiotic group: preoperative prophylaxis, postoperative prophylaxis, and therapeutic intent. The Fisher exact test was used to compare complication rates. Results: A total of 389 patients underwent breast/axillary surgeries during the study period. A total of 363 (93%) patients received ABX: 353 (91%) received a single preoperative dose, 91 (23%) received postoperative ABX prophylaxis, and 76 (201%) received ABX for therapeutic intent. Among patients receiving ABX, 15 (4%) had an ABX-related complication. The ABX-related complication rate was significantly higher among those receiving postoperative prophylaxis (5.5%; 5 of 91) compared with those receiving preoperative ABX alone (0%; 0 of 214) (P = .002). Conclusions: Drug-related complications were uncommon with preoperative ABX prophylaxis. Considering the potential complications of ABX after breast surgery, the use of postoperative prophylaxis should be reexamined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)553-556
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2009


  • Antibiotics
  • Breast surgery
  • Surgical site infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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