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Niger Postgrad Med J. 2001 Mar;8(1):32-6.

Outcome of primary closure of incised acute soft-tissue abscesses.

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Department of Surgery, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria.


One hundred and six patients with acute soft tissue abscesses were involved in the study at the Accident and Emergency unit of Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) from June, 1996 to April, 1997. The objective of the study was to assess the outcome of primary closure in the treatment of acute soft tissue abscesses using the healing rate, cost effectiveness, quality of scars and postoperative complications as parameters. The patients were divided into two groups: group A for primary closure, and group B for the conventional method. There was a statistically significant difference (P<0.05) in the healing time for study group A (6.96 +/-123.56) compared with control group B. Similarly group A was more cost effective (Total cost = N406 +/-123.56) compared with control group B (Total cost = N580.47 +/- 174.24). The difference was statistically significant (P<O. 05). Ninety one percent of the primary closure group had cosmetically acceptable scars compared with only 9.3% in group B. This difference was significant statistically (p<0.05). Complications were low in the two methods of treatment. However two patients (4.4%) in group A developed re-accumulation of pus and wound dehiscence. The results of this study show that primary closure after incision of an acute soft tissue abscess heals faster with cosmetically better scars, and it is more cost effective, than simple incision and drainage followed by daily dressing.

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