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How standardised are antibiotic regimens in otologic surgery?

BACKGROUND: Within otologic surgery, a paucity of well-controlled studies assessing the use of systemic antibiotic to reduce surgical site infections exists. Moreover, discrepancies in wound classification of procedures challenge consensus in antimicrobial prescribing patterns. We sought to compare surgeons from two different health systems to examine how surgeons' prescribing habits compared to practice guidelines for numerous otologic procedures.

METHODS: An online questionnaire was distributed to 33 Canadian and 32 Austrian surgeons who regularly perform otologic surgery. Current systemic antibiotic prescribing habits for cochlear implantation, cholesteatoma surgery, stapes surgery, and tympanoplasty ± ossiculoplasty were collected.

RESULTS: Eighteen of 33 (54.5%) Canadian surgeons provided responses, while 18 of 32 (56.3%) of Austrian surgeons answered. Clear consistency with clinical practice guidelines exists for pre-operative antibiotics use in cochlear implant surgery and infected cholesteatoma surgery. However, for stapes surgery and tympanoplasty ± ossiculoplasty, consensus is lacking for both pre- and post-operative antibiotic prescribing habits. Notable differences between the two countries include post-operative antibiotics for cochlear implant surgery (Austria: 36.4%, Canada: 71.4%) and uninfected cholesteatoma surgery (Austria: 33.3%, Canada: 77.8%). Across all procedures, both induction and post-operative antibiotic administration was not significantly associated with surgeon seniority when stratified by five-year increments.

CONCLUSION: The lack of consensus among each country's otologic surgeons underscores the uncertainty in wound classification and thus, adherence to clinical practice guidelines.

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