How are thyroid surgery infections prevented?

Updated: Feb 27, 2020
  • Author: Pramod K Sharma, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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The key to preventing postoperative infection is the use of sterile surgical technique. Routine use of perioperative antibiotics in thyroid surgery has not been proven beneficial.

Johnson and Wagner (1987) retrospectively reviewed 438 patients who underwent uncontaminated head and neck surgery at the Eye and Ear Hospital of Pittsburgh. Of 113 patients who received thyroidectomy, only 12 were given antibiotics perioperatively. None of the thyroidectomy-treated patients had a postoperative wound infection. This result suggests that perioperative antibiotics are not useful. Antibiotics should not be used unnecessarily in the current era of multidrug-resistant bacteria. Perioperative antibiotics are not recommended for thyroid surgery.

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