Inappropriate antibiotic use is a frequent occurrence, especially in surgical units. Among the unnecessary costs of such usage are unfavourable outcomes for patients and the emergence and spread of resistant bacteria. Antibiotic stewardship programmes aim to limit the spread of antibiotic resistance by promoting thoughtful prescribing of antibiotics. Such programmes usually try to control inappropriate use of antibiotics; to optimize the choice of drug, dosing, route, and duration of therapy; to maximize clinical cure or prevention of infection; and to limit unwanted effects and excess cost. In this paper, I discuss the impact of improper use of antibiotics and outline why I believe that antibiotic stewardship is likely to be the best way of dealing with it. Engagement of surgeons in antibiotic stewardship programmes is crucial to their success.