Preoperative Nasal Swab Culture: Is It Beneficial in Preventing Postoperative Infection in Complicated Septorhinoplasty?

Plast Reconstr Surg. 2020 Jul;146(1):27e-34e. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000006893.


Background: Surgical-site infection following complicated septorhinoplasty may result in serious complications. Therefore, efforts to prevent surgical-site infections after complicated septorhinoplasty are important. The purpose of this study was to analyze the microbiological profile of preoperative nasal swab cultures and to evaluate the effect of antibiotic prophylaxis and topical antibiotic decolonization according to the antibiotic sensitivity results of surgical-site infections in complicated septorhinoplasty.

Methods: This 10-year cohort study included the data on 437 consecutive patients who underwent complicated septorhinoplasty. The patients were categorized into three cohorts based on the time of preoperative nasal swab culture collection. Patients in cohort 1 did not undergo nasal swab cultures and received empirical antibiotics. Patients in cohort 2 underwent only one preoperative nasal swab culture and received microorganism-sensitive antibiotics. Patients in cohort 3 underwent repeated nasal swab cultures. The antibiotics were changed when microorganisms resistant to the empirical antibiotics were isolated. Microbiological data and the rates of surgical-site infection and inflammation were compared among the three cohorts.

Results: Methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus was the most commonly isolated microorganism. In cohort 1, two (5 percent) and two (5 percent) patients experienced surgical-site infections and inflammation, respectively. In cohort 2, two (3 percent) and three (4 percent) patients experienced surgical-site infections and inflammation, respectively. In cohort 3, one (0.3 percent) and one (0.3 percent) patient experienced surgical-site infection and inflammation, respectively.

Conclusion: The present study demonstrated that preoperative screening using repeated nasal swab cultures, followed by appropriate antibiotic prophylaxis and topical antibiotic decolonization, may reduce surgical-site infection in complicated septorhinoplasty.

Clinical question/level of evidence: Therapeutic, III.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antibiotic Prophylaxis / methods
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nose / microbiology*
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control*
  • Preoperative Care / methods
  • Rhinoplasty* / methods
  • Staphylococcal Infections / prevention & control*
  • Surgical Wound Infection / prevention & control*
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents