The use of antibiotics has become a common post-op treatment after breast augmentation. However, some doctors believe that taking these medications prior to surgery could further minimize the risk of infection and capsular contracture or hardening of the surrounding scar tissue, which happens when the body overreacts from bacterial contamination.
Infection should be avoided or at least treated immediately because it could lead to a more serious complication that may require implant extraction.
Take note that each doctor has his own pre- and post-op requirements, making it important that you carefully follow your surgeon’s specific advice.
But for the sake of helping you understand the purpose of antibiotics, leading plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smaili has provided some general information about the drugs and why they have become a common part of post-op treatment:
* Some surgeons recommend the use of bactrim, which is a type of antibiotic, for patients who are prone to chest acne for at least two least weeks before surgery. The theory is that reducing the likelihood of acne can also minimize the risk of breast implant infection and capsular contracture.
Acne harbors a wide range of bacteria including Staph Aureus, which is believed to cause infection.
* At the time of surgery, some doctors use a combination of antibiotics (e.g., Kefzol and Ciprofloxacin) to prevent or at least minimize bacterial contamination.
* Make sure that you take your antibiotics on time and in accordance to your surgeon’s instruction to make sure you enjoy the drugs’ full benefits and minimize risk of infection.
Take your antibiotics for as many days as your doctor says and do not attempt to stop just because you feel you okay. Not following your surgeon’s advice could result in antibiotic-resistant infections.
* Some patients develop itching and rashes from using narcotics and antibiotics. Allergic reaction may appear on the tummy, breast, and other parts of the body.
In case you develop allergic reaction, you should immediately contact your surgeon who may recommend changing your antibiotics or discontinuing them completely.
* Some doctors recommend antibiotics prior to “extensive” dental work and surgeries to prevent infection that may lead to capsular contracture. However, no comprehensive scientific study has proven that these medications really help prevent scar tissue hardening.
Over the past few years, breast augmentation has been the most commonly performed cosmetic surgery in the US. In 2012 alone, about 286,000 procedures were conducted, according to a survey published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.