Surgical site infection rates in breast cancer surgery at a University hospital in Nairobi, Kenya

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Medicine (MMed)


General Surgery (East Africa)


Back ground: Surgical site infections (SSI)following breast cancer surgery remain a significant cause of morbidity with the use of single dose pre-operative antibiotic prophylaxis. As a result the use of peri-operative antibiotics is common and unregulated, with no knowledge of the infection outcomes with their use.

Objectives: To establish the SSI outcomes with the use of peri-operative antibiotic prophylaxis, evaluate the common risk factors for SSI development and assess for other important outcomes following breast cancer surgery.

Methods: A prospective surveillance study for patients undergoing breast cancer surgery using the National Nosocomial Infections Surveillance (NNIS) system.

Analysis: Analysis for the rates of surgical site infections and the prevalence of common risk factors for SSI development and their importance

Outcomes: An SSI rate of 6% was observed using peri-antibiotic prophylaxis and a strict surveillance protocol. This was significantly reduced rate compared with other studies of antibiotic prophylaxis. The most significant risk factors for SSI in the study population were age >65 years, obesity and diabetes. Seroma formation, shoulder dysfunction and medial upper arm numbness were the other surgical complications noted.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library