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PeerJ. 2018 Nov 9;6:e5772. doi: 10.7717/peerj.5772. eCollection 2018.

Comparison of incisional complications between skin closures using a simple continuous or intradermal pattern: a pilot study in horses undergoing ventral median celiotomy.

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Department for Horses, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.
Institute of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.
Institute of Animal Nutrition, Nutrition Diseases and Dietetics, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.



Development of incisional complications following ventral median celiotomy might depend on suture pattern for skin closure.


In this prospective study, 21 healthy male horses underwent celiotomy. Skin closure was either performed via a continuous percutaneous pattern (CO group; 5 warmbloods/5 ponies) or an intradermal pattern (ID group; 5 warmbloods/6 ponies). Follow-up examination of the incisional site included daily monitoring for edema, dehiscence, and drainage. Transcutaneous ultrasound was performed at Days 3, 6, and 10 as well as on Week 8 and 12 to evaluate size of edema and presence or absence of sinus formation, and hernia formation. Prevalence of incisional infection on base of positive microbiological analysis at any time up to Day 10 was evaluated and compared between ID and CO group. Furthermore, edema size was analysed by a linear mixed-effect model for group and time dependency.


Observed incisional complications included edema (9/10 in CO, 10/11 in ID), suture sinus formation (2/10 in CO, 1/11 in ID), surgical site infection (2/10 in CO, 0/11 in ID), and incisional hernia (1/10 in CO, 0/11 in ID). The overall prevalence of incisional infection was 9.5% without significant differences between both groups (20% in CO, 0% in ID; p = 0.214). Edema size was not dependent on time or group (p = 0.545 and p = 0.627, respectively).


CO and ID suture pattern are appropriate for skin closure following ventral median celiotomy in horses. None of the animals in the continuous ID group developed surgical site infections, even without the use of antibiotics.


Complications; Exploratory laparotomy; Incision; Surgical site infection; Suture pattern

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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