In an attempt to reduce the incidence of infectious complications after tissue expander–based breast reconstruction, the routine administration of postoperative antibiotics regimen is common in many practices. In recent years, there has been a plethora of reports scrutinizing the prophylactic use of postoperative antibiotics in this setting. The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of prolonged administration of postoperative antibiotics compared with perioperative-only antibiotic administration for prophylaxis after tissue expander placement for immediate mastectomy reconstruction.
Methods and Materials
A retrospective chart review of all patients who underwent immediate tissue expander placement after mastectomy at our institution from June 2005 to September 2018 was performed. All patients in the study received perioperative intravenous antibiotics 30 to 60 min preoperatively and for 24 hours postoperatively. Patients were divided into 2 groups. Patients in group A did not receive antibiotics beyond the perioperative period. Patients in group B received oral antibiotics for at least 7 days postoperatively in addition to the perioperative intravenous antibiotics. The 2 groups were compared for demographics and prevalence of risk factors such as radiation, chemotherapy, smoking, and diabetes. The incidence of complications such as infection, wound complications, hematoma, seroma, capsular contracture, loss of tissue expander, and reoperations was assessed.
Summary of Results
A total of 529 patients were included in the study, of which 241 were in group A and 288 were in group B. The total number of breasts reconstructed in group A was 398, whereas in group B, it was 466 breasts. Patients were followed up to 5 months postoperatively in each group. There were no statistically significant differences in the demographic and patient characteristics among the 2 groups. The incidence of infection in group A was 23.24% and in group B was 21.53% (P = 0.412). The incidence of other complications follows the same trend when comparing group A versus B.
This retrospective study shows that the routine use of postoperative antibiotics after tissue expander placement for immediate mastectomy reconstruction does not result in reduction in the incidence of common complications or improvement of clinical outcomes.