Routine operative swab cultures and post‐operative antibiotic use for uncomplicated perianal abscesses are unnecessary

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Perianal abscesses remain one of the most common surgical conditions encountered by both general and colorectal surgeons, for which the cornerstone of treatment is adequate surgical drainage. The use of intra‐operative swabs for culture and sensitivity remains a common practice amongst surgeons, as does the administration of broad‐spectrum antibiotics throughout the peri‐operative period.
We conducted an anonymous survey of 29 staff in our surgical department, including trainees and senior consultants. We had a 100% response rate, with 25/29 (86%) indicating that they perform swab cultures intra‐operatively (Fig. 1) and 23/29 (79%) discharge their patients with a course of post‐operative antibiotics (Fig. 2). Some respondents cited more than one reason for their practice.
We performed this study to assess whether these prevalent practices impact patient management and outcome.
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