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Ann Surg. 2009 Jan;249(1):77-81. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0b013e31819279e3.

Impact of laparoscopic colorectal resection on surgical site infection.

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Department of Surgery, University of Hong Kong Medical Centre, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong.



This study aimed to identify the risk factors of surgical site infection (SSI) in elective colorectal resection and the strategy for prevention of SSI in modern era of colorectal surgery.


The practice of colorectal surgery has undergone remarkable evolution recently because of application of laparoscopic resection. This could affect SSI in colorectal patients. An updated investigation of SSI under current practice of colorectal surgery would provide valuable information.


This was a prospective study of SSI on 1011 patients, who had elective colorectal resection in a university teaching hospital, during January 2002 to December 2006. Standard definition and postoperation follow-up of SSI were adopted through collaboration between surgeons and wound surveillance program of Infection Control Unit. Risk factors of SSI were evaluated. Logistic regression was used to perform multivariate analysis and decide independent risk factors of SSI.


The overall rate of incisional SSI and organ/space SSI was 4.8% and 1.7%, respectively. Rate of incisional SSI in open and laparoscopic colorectal resection was 5.7% and 2.7%, respectively. Anastomotic leakage was the only factor that predicted organ/space SSI (P < 0.01). Independent risk factors of incisional SSI included blood transfusion [P = 0.047; odds ratio (OR) = 2.43; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.0-5.9], anastomotic leakage (P < 0.01; OR = 6.5; 95% CI: 2.3-18.6), and open colorectal resection (P = 0.037; OR = 2.36; 95% CI: 1.1-5.3).


In current practice of colorectal surgery, operative factors are more important than patient factors for SSI. Good surgical technique to reduce anastomotic leakage and reduce blood transfusion has paramount importance in SSI prevention. Laparoscopic surgery was associated with reduction of rate of SSI by more than 50% when compared with open surgery and would have a strong impact on the prevention of surgical infection.

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