Treatment Guidelines from The Medical Letter
Antimicrobial Prophylaxis for Surgery
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Revised 10/6/10: Table 1: Footnote 14 was added to the Gastrointestinal/Colorectal section and a second sentence was added to footnote 5.

Antimicrobial Prophylaxis for Surgery Antimicrobial prophylaxis can decrease the incidence of infection, particularly surgical site infection, after certain procedures. Recommendations for prevention of surgical site infection are listed in Table 1. Antimicrobial prophylaxis for dental procedures to prevent endocarditis is discussed in The Medical Letter 2007; 49:99.


An effective prophylactic regimen should be directed against the most likely infecting organisms, but need not eradicate every potential pathogen. For most procedures, the first-generation cephalosporin cefazolin (Ancef, and others), which is active against many staphylococci and streptococci, remains effective. For procedures that might involve exposure to bowel anaerobes, including Bacteroides fragilis, the ... more      

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