Three-dose vs extended-course clindamycin prophylaxis for free-flap reconstruction of the head and neck

William R. Carroll, David Rosenstiel, Jobe R. Fix, Jorge De la Torre, Joel S. Solomon, Brian Brodish, Eben L. Rosenthal, Tad Heinz, Santosh Niwas, Glenn E. Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Background: Twenty-four hours of perioperative antibiotics provides effective prophylaxis for most head and neck cancer resections. Many reconstructive surgeons have been hesitant to apply this standard to free-flap reconstruction of the head and neck. This prospective clinical trial compared short-course and long-course clindamycin prophylaxis for wound infection in patients with head and neck cancer undergoing free-flap reconstruction. Methods: Seventy-four patients were randomized to receive short-course (3 doses) or long-course (15 doses) clindamycin perioperatively. Wound infections, fistulas, and other postoperative complications were documented by faculty surgeons who were blinded as to treatment group. Results: The differences in wound infections and other complications were statistically insignificant. No other independent predictors of wound complications emerged in this series of patients. Conclusions: Short-course clindamycin is as effective as long-course clindamycin in preventing wound infections after free-flap surgery for head and neck ablative defects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)771-774
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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