For low-income nations, the incidence of so-called surgical site infection was double the global average, according to the results, based on data compiled by a consortium of 2,500 doctors and researchers.
Before surgery, 96 percent, 87 percent, and 88 percent of patients were given antibiotics in low-, middle- and high-income nations respectively.
Levels of post-surgery antibiotic treatment were 86 percent, 80 percent, and 46 percent.
Antibiotic resistance varied according to a country's income level, ranging from 17 percent in rich nations to 36 percent in developing ones.
"The cost of a surgical site infection -- in terms of mortality, morbidity, health-care costs, and loss of productivity -- is enormous," Robert Sawyer, a researcher at Western Michigan University's Homer Stryker M.D.