Background. To assess national practice patterns regarding use of perioperative antibiotics by surgeons performing breast operations requiring drainage tubes. Methods. The members of the American Society of Breast Surgeons (ASBrS) were surveyed regarding use of perioperative antibiotics for breast operations requiring drains, with or without immediate tissue expander or implant reconstruction. Results. Of 2,857 ASBrS members contacted, 917 (32 %) responded; all self-identified as surgeons. Of 905 evaluable respondents, most described themselves as general surgeons (46 %) or breast surgeons (46 %). For cases in which drains are anticipated, most respondents (86 %) reported routine use of preoperative prophylactic antibiotics, with 99 % selecting cephalosporins. Use of antibiotic >24 h postoperatively varied by whether or not reconstruction was performed. In nonreconstruction cases, the majority (76 %) reported ''never/almost never'' prescribing antibiotics beyond the 24-h postoperative period, but 16 % reported ''always/almost always.'' In reconstruction cases, the majority (58 %) reported routine antibiotic use beyond 24 h, and the primary driver of the decision to use antibiotics was reported to be the plastic surgeon (83 %). Among those reporting use at >24 h, the duration recommended for nonreconstruction cases was ''up to 1 week'' in 38 % and ''until drains removed'' in 39 %; this was similar for reconstruction cases. Conclusions. Cephalosporins are utilized uniformly as preoperative antibiotic prophylaxis in breast operations requiring drains. However, use of postoperative antibiotic prophylaxis is strongly dependent on the presence of immediate breast reconstruction. Consensus is lacking on the role of postoperative antibiotic prophylaxis in breast operations utilizing drains.
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