Changes in Nasal Staphylococcus Colonization and Infection Rates After Nasal Surgery

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Facial Plast Surg Aesthet Med


Background: The relationship between nasal flora and infection rates in patients undergoing nasal surgery is of interest. This relationship has been studied though changes that may take place due to surgery have never been elucidated. Objective: To assess colonization rates and changes in colonization patterns of methicillin-resistant or methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA/MSSA) in nasal flora in patients undergoing nasal surgery and to determine whether colonization is a risk factor for postoperative infection. Methods: Patients undergoing nasal surgery including septoplasty, rhinoplasty, or nasal valve repair were recruited prospectively. Patients completed a survey preoperatively concerning risk factors of postoperative infection. Nasal swabs and cultures were done preoperatively and at 1 week postoperatively. Patients were assessed for surgical site infections postoperatively. Results: Fifty-five patients completed both preoperative and postoperative nasal swabs. Preoperative to postoperative colonization rates increased for MRSA (2-5%) and MSSA (22-36%). Of the 55 patients, 11 had a change in nasal flora postoperatively, 9 of whom were colonized with a Staphylococcus aureus strain. However, MSSA/MRSA colonization either preoperatively or postoperatively was not associated with surgical site infections. Gender was the only variable found to be associated with postoperative infection (p = 0.007) with all four infections occurring in females. Conclusions: MSSA and MRSA do not appear to be major risk factors for surgical site infection in nasal surgery, whereas prior nasal surgery is a risk factor. This is the first report of a change in nasal colonization after nasal surgery. This could have implications for antibiotic prophylaxis in select nasal surgery cases.

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ePub ahead of print