Prophylactic antibiotics in aesthetic surgery

Michael A. Lane, V. Leroy Young, Bernard C. Camins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Improvements in infection prevention practices over the past several decades have enhanced outcomes following aesthetic surgery. However, surgical site infections (SSI) continue to result in increased morbidity, mortality, and cost of care. The true incidence rate of SSI in aesthetic surgery is unknown due to the lack of a national surveillance system, but studies of SSI across surgical specialties have suggested that many of these infections are preventable. Patient-related factors-including obesity, glycemic control, and tobacco use-may contribute to the development of SSI following aesthetic surgery. In terms of SSI prevention, proper handwashing and surgical skin preparation are integral. Furthermore, the administration of prophylactic antibiotics has been shown to reduce SSI following many types of surgical procedures. Unfortunately, there are few large, randomized studies examining the role of prophylactic antibiotics in aesthetic surgery. The authors review the medical literature, discuss the risks of antibiotic overutilization, and detail nonpharmacological methods for reducing the risk of SSI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)859-871
Number of pages13
JournalAesthetic Surgery Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • patient safety
  • prophylactic antibiotics
  • surgical site infections


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