Methicillin-Sensitive and Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus: Preventing Surgical Site Infections Following Plastic Surgery

Alexis M. Elward, Joanne M. McAndrews, V. Leroy Young

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Learning Objectives: The reader is presumed to have a broad understanding of aesthetic surgical procedures. After studying this article, the participant should be able to: 1. Explain the microbiology of Staphylococcus species and discuss antibiotic resistance development in Staphylococcus species and assess how clinical outcomes are affected. 2. Identify the epidemiology of Staphylococcus carriers and the impact on the clinical practice and regulation. Practice effective measures that prevent surgical site infections. 3. Practice screening for and decolonizing of patients with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Physicians may earn 2.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ by successfully completing the examination based on material covered in this article. The examination begins on page 245. As a meaure of the success of the education we hope you will receive from this article, we encourage you to log on to the Aesthetic Society website and take the preexamination before reading this article. Once you have completed the article, you may then take the examination again for CME credit. The Aesthetic Society will be able to compare your answers and use this data for future reference as we attempt to continually improve the CME articles we offer. ASAPS members can complete this CME examination online by logging on to the ASAPS Members-Only Website ( and clicking on "Clinical Education" in the menu bar. Staphylococcus aureus is the most common cause of surgical site infections (SSI), with both methicillin-sensitive and methicillin-resistant strains causing these infections. The incidence of methicillin-resistant S aureus (MRSA) has increased in the US over the past decade, largely due to the emergence of community-acquired MRSA (CA-MRSA). This article reviews the microbiology and epidemiology of methicillin-sensitive S aureus (MSSA) and MRSA, risk factors for surgical site infections among plastic surgery patients, the evidence supporting preoperative screening and decolonization measures to prevent surgical site infections caused by MRSA, recommendations for anti-microbial prophylaxis, and treatment recommendations for surgical site infections. Other proven methods of reducing SSI, including maintenance of normothermia during surgery, glucose control, cessation of nicotine use, and not shaving the surgical site preoperatively are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-244
Number of pages13
JournalAesthetic surgery journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2009


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