A prospective study in 53 eligible patients, undergoing major head and neck cancer surgery was carried out to assess the combination of an ureido penicillin, piperacillin with a nitro imidazole agent, ornidazole, in order to prevent post-operative general and wound infections. Both antibiotics were administered for five days. Each patient had piperacillin 4 gm every eight hours and ornidazole 1 gm every 24 hours.
The overall rate of infections was 13.2 per cent (n = 7), with 3.8 per cent (n = 2) wound infections and 11.3 per cent (n = 6) general infections (one patient presented both complications).
There was no wound infection in the total surgery group (n = 12). General infections who only consisted of pneumonias were respectively 12.2 per cent (n - 5) in the group with partial procedures (n = 41) and 8.3 per cent (n = 1) in the total surgery group.
This antibioprophylaxis can be recommended in major oncological neck surgery, specially in the case of partial procedures.