Breast augmentation, antibiotic prophylaxis, and infection: comparative analysis of 1,628 primary augmentation mammoplasties assessing the role and efficacy of antibiotics prophylaxis duration

Umar Daraz Khan
Aesthetic Plastic Surgery 2010, 34 (1): 42-7

BACKGROUND: Infections after augmentation mammoplasty are not uncommon, and prophylactic antibiotics are routinely administered to minimize infection. However, there is paucity of information on the relationship between the length of prophylaxis cover and its benefits in primary augmentation mammoplasty. A retrospective analysis of different antibiotic cover regimens, their effectiveness in preventing infections, and the management of infection in established cases is reviewed.

METHODS: A retrospective chart analysis of periprosthetic infections in primary augmentation mammoplasties performed over the past 10 years was conducted. Periprosthetic infection was determined by the presence of pain, swelling, redness, and discharge. Each breast was taken as an individual unit in 1,628 patients, and data for 3,256 breasts were analyzed. The patients had their augmentation in the partial submuscular plane (214 breasts in 107 patients), the subglandular plane (1,548 breasts in 774 patients), and the muscle-splitting biplane (1,494 breasts in 747 patients). All the patients had soft round cohesive gel silicone implants. Of the 3,256 implants, 3,218 were textured, and 38 were smooth surfaced. The patients received antibiotics as a single intravenous dose of cephalosporin (474 breasts in 237 patients), a single intravenous dose plus an oral dose for 24 h (344 breasts in 172 patients), or a single intravenous dose plus an oral course for 5 days (2,438 breasts in 1,219 patients). Infection was recorded as superficial (e.g., wound breakdown, stitch extrusion, stitch abscess) or deep (periprosthetic). The patients with established periprosthetic infections, determined clinically by the presence of pain, discharge, swelling, and redness of the breasts, were managed either conservatively using antibiotics, passive wound drainage, and healing of the wound with secondary intention or by explantation and replacement after 3 to 4 months. In selected cases of periprosthetic infection, the implants were removed after a course of antibiotics and negative swab cultures. The cavity was washed thoroughly with betadine and saline, and new implants were simultaneously reimplanted.

RESULTS: The incidence of infection was lowest with a single perioperative dose of intravenous antibiotic compared with a combination of intravenous and oral antibiotics. Superficial infection was seen in 38 breasts (all unilateral), with an incidence of 1.2%, and periprosthetic infection was observed in 17 breasts (13 unilateral and 2 bilateral), giving an infection incidence of 0.52% (p = 0.002). In patients with a single intravenous dose of antibiotic, superficial and periprosthetic infection was seen in four breasts (0.8%) and no breasts, respectively. The difference was not significant (p = 0.13). The patients receiving a single intravenous antibiotic and a 24-h oral antibiotic had superficial and periprosthetic infection rates of 2.3% (8 breasts) and 0.3% (1 breast), respectively, and the difference between the two sub-groups was significantly higher (p = 0.04). The patients receiving an intravenous antibiotic and 5 days of oral antibiotics had superficial and periprosthetic infection rates of 1.1% (26 breasts) and 0.65% (14 breasts), respectively. The difference between the two subgroups was not significant (p = 0.09). Of the 17 periprosthetic infections in 15 patients (13 unilateral and 2 bilateral), 11 breasts (1 bilateral and 9 unilateral) were treated conservatively using antibiotics, passive drainage, and wound healing with secondary intention. Capsular contracture developed in two of the conservatively treated breasts, requiring capsulotomies with change of implants. Of the six periprosthetic infections in six patients, requiring surgical intervention, two implants were treated using explantation with immediate replacement after a course of antibiotics and a negative culture, and two implants were explanted followed by reimplantation later. One patient had both implants removed after unilateral infection, and no reimplantation was performed. One patient had a bilateral infection. In this case, one implant was explanted and the other was treated conservatively. The patient had bilateral reimplantion 6 months later, and bilateral Baker 4 capsular contracture developed in both breasts within 6 months. No other complications were seen in the patients who underwent surgery.

CONCLUSION: A single dose of intravenous antibiotic is adequate for prophylaxis in breast augmentation surgery, and the extra duration of antibiotic cover does not result in reduced superficial or periprosthetic infections. Infection can be managed in more than one way depending on the nature, degree, and extent of infection.

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