Many patients have asked me about precautions I take to prevent infection in my cosmetic surgery patients. As everyone knows, cosmetic surgery is completely elective; infections after any surgical procedure can cause significant complications. It is therefore imperative to minimize the risks of infection.
Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, commonly referred to as MRSA, is becoming more prevalent in the community. Several years ago, this antibiotic resistant bacterium was present only in hospitals. Many healthy people are now colonized with MRSA. It can cause significant problems with delayed postoperative wound complications and infection. For that reason, I routinely screen my patients for bacterial colonization with MRSA before any type of cosmetic surgery procedure. Screening is done by performing a simple nasal swab and determining whether any resistant Staphylococcus aureus grows.
If patients have positive cultures, there is a simple decolonization protocol that is performed to reduce their risks of postoperative infection with MRSA. For five days, patients are asked to cleanse their body with 4% chlorhexidine solution. It is applied in the shower every day, with care taken to focus on the underarms, groin, and into any folds of skin. The antiseptic soap needs to remain on the skin for at least 5 minutes before it is washed off. In addition, patients are asked to apply 2% Mupirocin (Bactroban) antibiotic nasal ointment inside the nostrils 3 times a day.
After this protocol, most patients have been effectively decolonized and can safely proceed with cosmetic surgery.
Should you have more questions regarding this or other cosmetic surgery procedure, contact Dr. Jejurikar’s office at 214-827-2814.