Should I take antibiotics post Breast Augmentation or not?

So I'm a little confused, my augmentation is on 2 days, anyway one surgeon I went to said he prescribes oral antibiotics after the surgery. However the other surgeon told me he never bothers with prescribing antibiotics after surgery. BOTH surgeons give antibiotics through the IV during surgery. Obviously I will take any antibiotics that are prescribed to me, however I am confused as to why one surgeon makes you take them afterwards, and one does not?

Doctor Answers 13

Post op antibiotics: Facts vs. habits

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Your question is a timely one. More and more research is coming out that shows antibiotics given intravenously (IV) about 30-60 minutes before an incision is made on a clean surgical case can cut down on post operative infections. However, data/science also suggests that there is no benefit to post operative antibiotics in a clean procedure such as a breast augmentation and there is nothing specifically in the plastic surgery literature to support post operative antibiotics. That being said, many doctors were trained in an era before this scientific data was available, and some people have not changed their practice. They figure that the risk profile of antibiotics is low and the consequence of an infected breast implant is so bad, that even with the data available showing no benefit, it is better to be safe than sorry. I recommend following the instructions given by the surgeon who is treating you. Feel free to discuss your concerns. Good luck with surgery!

Alexandria Plastic Surgeon

Antibiotic Usage with Breast Augmentation

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This is a controversial topic but here is my opinion. As long as IV antibiotics are given starting before the incision is  made you are probably safe. However, following the advice of your plastic surgeon is key to minimizing problems. In my experienced, the vast majority of all board certified plastic surgeons use antibiotics following breast surgery with implants.  No more than a 24 hour course and as few as a single dose of antibiotics following liposuction is recommended by most experts.

Antibiootics with breast implants

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The data supports the use of IV antibiotics given just before the surgery starts.  There is not data to support the continued use of antibiotics after an otherwise uncomplicated breast augmentation and unnecessary antibiotic use can cause complications.  If a surgeon places drains, one might consider antibiotics while the drains are in place.

Antibiotics after surgery?

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The subject of antibiotics after surgery can be a little confusing.  The scientific evidence supports the use of IV antibiotics immediate before surgery.  The data says that this is the best way to prevent any infections.  Antibiotics that are continued after a routine surgery may lead to other problems such as the development of drug-resistant bacteria.  However, I would definitely recommend that you discuss this question with your surgeon.  Some surgeons do prescribe antibiotics after surgery for many reasons, while others do not.  It is important that you follow any instructions that your surgeon gives you for pre and post-operative care.  Good luck!

Anureet K. Bajaj, MD
Oklahoma City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews


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Thank you for the question.

Although antibiotics are administered during surgery, it's very important to rake your antibiotics after surgery as well. This is to protect your body as it heals from any infections that can happen.

Dr. Campos 

Jaime Campos Leon, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 257 reviews

Post op antibiotics following breast augmentation

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Many peer reviewed medical studies have concluded that only the pre-operative antibiotic is necessary.  This being said it is generally up to each plastic surgeon to determine what is best for each individual.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Antibiotics with implants

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There are some studies that show that only one dose is necessary. But many doctors do give patients antibiotics to take for several days after implant placement.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Should I take antibiotics post Breast Augmentation or not?

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When doctors have different routines, that simply means there is no one best answer. You chose your doctor, so follow his advice. I personally only give IV antibiotics on the day of surgery.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Post op antibiotics

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It is not wrong to use or not use oral antibiotics after breast augmentation surgery.  For many years, surgeons had their patients use oral antibiotics following breast augmentation surgery.  As the other doctors have discussed, there now is good research showing that a single dose of intravenous antibiotics at the start of surgery is effective for reducing the already small risk of infection and using oral antibiotics afterward does not seem to be any more helpful than the single dose.

Michael S. Hopkins, MD (retired)
Albuquerque Plastic Surgeon

Antibiotics after breast augmentation

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  • Research shows that for clean, elective procedures such as breast augmentation, intravenous antibiotics reduce the (already low) risk of infection but that antibiotics afterwards, do not.
  • Antibiotics are given after surgery by some surgeons - especially in areas where infection is higher than average,
  • Antibiotics have their own severe complications and I personally avoid using them unless a patient clearly has an infection or in a dose right before surgery.
  • If your present surgeon tells you to take antibiotics, you need to let him be in charge of your care but it is reasonable to discuss his reasons with him and to discuss what to do if you get for instance, diarrhea or a yeast infection. Best wishes.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.