Breast Pocket Irrigation with Antibiotic Solution at Implant Insertion: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Jessica M. Lynch, Mohamad E. Sebai, Nelson A. Rodriguez-Unda, Stella Seal, Gedge D. Rosson, Michele A. Manahan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Antibiotic irrigation is routinely used during implant insertion in augmentation mammoplasty procedures. However, the evidence for whether this reduces the incidence of infection or capsular contracture is unclear. Methods and Materials: Five databases were used to search for all randomized control trials, retrospective cohort and prospective cohort studies containing original data related to the primary outcomes being investigated in this study. The primary outcomes were the effects of antibiotic breast pocket irrigation on clinical infection and capsular contracture. The literature search was designed to combine three concepts: implant or tissue expander-based breast surgery, antibiotic irrigation and clinical infection or capsular contracture. Studies found were screened using specific eligibility criteria. Risk ratios (RR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated using pooled acquired data from all included studies. Results: The search identified 1256 citations. Three independent screeners identified seven studies that met the inclusion criteria with a pooled population of 4725. This included one prospective and six retrospective studies. A meta-analysis of pooled study data showed significant reductions in clinical infection (RR 0.52, 95% CI 0.33–0.81) and capsular contracture (RR 0.36, 95% CI 0.16–0.83) as a result of antibiotic irrigation. Conclusion: The meta-analyses support the use of antibiotic irrigation of the breast pocket. However, the results of this study are limited by the large proportion of retrospective studies, the small number of studies included, the lack of randomized controlled trials and the heterogeneity of the antibiotic and control regimes used. Level of Evidence III: This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1179-1186
Number of pages8
JournalAesthetic Plastic Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018


  • Antibiotic
  • Breast
  • Contracture
  • Infection
  • Irrigation
  • Mammoplasty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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