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J Surg Res. 2010 Oct;163(2):229-34. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2010.03.019. Epub 2010 Apr 1.

Predictors of surgical site infection in laparoscopic and open ventral incisional herniorrhaphy.

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Department of Surgery, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.



Surgical site infection (SSI) after ventral incisional hernia repair (VIH) can result in serious consequences. We sought to identify patient, procedure, and/or hernia characteristics that are associated with SSI in VIH.


Between 2004 and 2006, patients were randomized in four Veteran Affairs (VA) hospitals to undergo laparoscopic or open VIH. Patients who developed SSI within eight weeks postoperatively were compared to those who did not. A bivariate analysis for each factor and a multiple logistic regression analysis were performed to determine factors associated with SSI. The variables studied included patient characteristics and co-morbidities (e.g., age, gender, race, ethnicity, body mass index, ASA classification, diabetes, steroid use), hernia characteristics (e.g., size, duration, number of previous incisions), procedure characteristics (e.g., open versus laparoscopic, blood loss, use of postoperative drains, operating room temperature) and surgeons' experience (resident training level, number of open VIH previously performed by the attending surgeon). Antibiotic prophylaxis, anticoagulation protocols, preparation of the skin, draping of the wound, body temperature control, and closure of the surgical site were all standardized and monitored throughout the study period.


Out of 145 patients who underwent VIH, 21 developed a SSI (14.5%). Patients who underwent open VIH had significantly more SSIs than those who underwent laparoscopic VIH (22.1% versus 3.4%; P = 0.002). Among patients who underwent open VIH, those who developed SSI had a recorded intraoperative blood loss greater than 25 mL (68.4% versus 40.3%; P = 0.030), were more likely to have a drain placed (79.0% versus 49.3%; P = 0.021) and were more likey to be operated on by surgeons with less than 75 open VIH case experience (52.6% versus 28.4%; P = 0.048). Patient and hernia characteristics were similar between the two groups. In a multiple logistic regression analysis, the open surgical technique was associated with SSI (OR 8.03, 95% CI 2.03, 31.72; P = 0.003) while controlling for the VA medical center where the procedure was performed (P = 0.041).


Open surgical technique and the medical center rather than patient co-morbidities or hernia characteristics are associated with the formation of postoperative SSI in VIH.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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