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Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2002 Apr;23(4):321-4.

Skin closure after infrainguinal bypass surgery: a prospective randomised study.

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  • 1Red Cross Hospital, Department of Surgery, The Hague, The Netherlands.



wound complications after infrainguinal bypass surgery occur frequently and may jeopardise an underlying graft. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of suture material in the occurrence of wound complications.


prospective randomised trial. 170 consecutive patients underwent femoro-popliteal or femoro-tibial bypass surgery and were randomised between wound closure with continuous polyamide sutures (Ethilon) or with skin staples.


ten patients were excluded because of re-intervention or death within 2 weeks after operation. The wound was closed with a continuous polyamide suture (Ethilon) in 77 patients and with metallic skin staples in 83 patients. The groups were comparable in age, use of corticosteroids, occurrence of diabetes mellitus and operation time. Skin closing time was significantly shorter in the staples group (6.4 min versus 2.7 min, p<0.001). Overall, there were no significant differences between continuous polyamide sutures and metallic skin staples in superficial infections (8% versus 2%), deep infections (1% versus 1%), serous leakage or haematoma.


we found no significant differences in the incidence of wound complications in infrainguinal bypass surgery comparing continuous polyamide (Ethilon) and skin staples. The time needed for wound closure was significantly reduced using metallic staples, but this had no effect on the total operation time. Choices of closing materials should be guided by surgeon's preference.

Copyright 2002 Harcourt Publishers Limited.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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