Conference Coverage

Antibiotics backed as standard of care for myomectomies



– The surgical site infection rate was 2.9% among women who received perioperative antibiotics for fibroid surgery, but 7.8% among those who did not, in a review of 1,433 cases at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston.

M. Alexander Otto/MDedge News

Dr. Nisse Clark

That is despite the fact that antibiotic cases were longer – 155 minutes vs. 89 minutes – and had more blood loss, 200 ml vs. 117 ml. Antibiotic cases also had larger specimen weights – 346 g vs. 176 g – and were more likely to have the uterine cavity entered, 30.2% vs. 14.4%.

“Surgical site infections were more common in the no-antibiotics group despite these being less complex cases.” There was “nearly a fivefold increased odds of surgical site infection or any infectious complication when no antibiotics were given,” after controlling for infection risk factors, including smoking and diabetes, said investigator Nisse V. Clark, MD, a minimally invasive gynecologic surgeon affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital.

There are no perioperative antibiotic guidelines for myomectomies; maybe there should be. Almost 94% of the women in the review did receive antibiotics at the Harvard-affiliated hospitals, but the nationwide average has been pegged at about two-thirds, she said at the meeting, sponsored by the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists.

The antibiotic cases usually received a cephalosporin before surgery, and were about evenly about evenly split between abdominal, robotic, and laparoscopic approaches.

About one-third of the 90 women (6.3%) who did not get antibiotics had hysteroscopic procedures in which antibiotics usually are not given because the peritoneal cavity is not breeched. Most of the rest, however, were laparoscopic cases. It’s unknown why they weren’t given antibiotics. In her own practice, Dr. Clark said preop antibiotics are the rule for laparoscopic myomectomies.

The surgical site infection difference was driven largely by higher incidences of pelvic abscesses and other organ space infections in the no-antibiotic group.

The only significant demographic difference between the two groups was that women who received antibiotics were slightly younger (mean 38 versus 39.7 years). Antibiotic cases were in the hospital a mean of 1 day, compared with 0.2 days in the no-antibiotic group.

In addition to diabetes and smoking, the team adjusted for age, surgery route, body mass index, uterine entry, intraoperative complications, and myoma weight in their multivariate analysis. Still, women in the no-antibiotic group were 4.59 times more likely to have a surgical site infection, 4.76 more likely to have any infectious complication, and almost 8 times more likely to have a major infectious complication. All of the findings were statistically significant.

The study had no industry funding, and Dr. Clark had no disclosures.