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February 1987

The Incidence of Bacteremia During Skin Surgery

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr Sabetta is now with the Division of Dermatology, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington.

Arch Dermatol. 1987;123(2):213-215. doi:10.1001/archderm.1987.01660260083019

• The development of transient bacteremia during simple surgical excision of cutaneous neoplasms was studied. Of 35 patients undergoing surgery on eroded, but not clinically infected, cutaneous tumors, one developed a transient bacteremia, whereas none of 15 patients developed bacteremia during surgery on cutaneous neoplasms with intact skin surfaces. The low incidence of bacteremia associated with surgery on eroded skin neoplasms suggests that, for this commonly performed surgery, prophylactic antibiotics be administered perioperatively only to patients with prosthetic heart valves and not to other patients at risk for endocarditis. This recommendation would be in keeping with the American Heart Association guidelines for prophylaxis for other surgical procedures associated with low incidences of transient bacteremia.

(Arch Dermatol 1987;123:213-215)