Why shaving is a bad idea before surgery

There is no need to shave patients before surgery or give them antibiotics afterwards, according to the World Health Organisation.

In its latest guidance to prevent surgical site infections (SSIs), it recommends fundamental changes to the status quo.

These include the observation that shaving before surgery increases the risk of infection. Hair can be clipped, but only if absolutely necessary.

“The evidence shows there is no clear benefit and shaving increases the risk of micro-abrasions to the skin or other small cuts,” says spokesperson Ed Kelley.