The More the Merrier? Should Antibiotics be Used for Rhinoplasty and Septorhinoplasty?-A Review

Ravina Kullar, Julia Frisenda, Paul S Nassif
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Global Open 2018, 6 (10): e1972

Background: With antimicrobial resistance a global threat, optimizing antibiotic usage across the surgical continuum is vital. The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation recently published the first guidelines addressing management in rhinoplasty. The authors reviewed pertinent literature on the role of systemic antibiotics in rhinoplasty and septorhinoplasty.

Methods: The authors performed a MEDLINE search through PubMed using the key terms rhinoplasty, septorhinoplasty, infection, antimicrobials, and antibiotics.

Results: Ten studies met criteria. Studies evaluating antibiotics perioperatively showed similar infection and/or bacteremia rates (0-13.3%) in those receiving or not receiving antibiotics. No patients experienced significant local/systemic infections regardless of antibiotic use. In the 3 studies evaluating antibiotics postoperatively, antibiotics decreased the infection rate from 27% to 8% in complex revision cases. In a study evaluating postoperative antibiotics in noncomplex cases, there were no significant differences in infection rates between those receiving only a preoperative dose and those receiving preoperative in addition to 7 days of postoperative antibiotics, with the latter experiencing higher rates of antibiotic-related adverse events and costs.

Conclusions: Peri- and postoperative antibiotics in noncomplex rhinoplasty and septorhinoplasty are not beneficial in decreasing infection risk. Antibiotics, with a first-generation cephalosporin such as cefazolin (non-β-lactam, such as clindamycin, if β-lactam allergy), should be considered in patients with comorbidities/undergoing complex surgery. If perioperative antibiotics are used, antibiotics should be administered within 1 hour of incision and discontinued within 24 hours of the operation. Further research is warranted to evaluate the optimal duration of postoperative antibiotics in complex cases.

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