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J Hosp Infect. 1998 May;39(1):27-37.

Infections and bacteriological data after laparoscopic and open gallbladder surgery.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Ikazia Hospital, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


In two hospitals 637 patients undergoing cholecystectomy between June 1989 and June 1993 were entered into a prospective audit. The aim of this study was to determine the incidence of postoperative infections, especially wound infections, after open and laparoscopic biliary surgery and to assess the bacteriological data on these patients. The incidence of minor wound infection was 10.4% (66/637), of major wound infection 3.6% (23/637) and the overall incidence was 14% (89/637). The incidence of wound infection after laparoscopic cholecystectomy was 5.3% (10/189) and all were minor. Significant specific risk factors for developing a wound infection after laparoscopic cholecystectomy were emergency of the operation (P = 0.046) and acute cholecystitis (P = 0.014). Overall, bile cultures were positive in 22%. There were 85 patients (13.3%) with positive bile from the gallbladder. From the laparoscopically operated patients 2.8% had a positive bile culture. The predominant micro-organisms from gallbladder bile were Escherichia coli (56 isolates), Klebsiella spp. (20 isolates) and Streptococcus spp. (16 isolates). There was no relationship between positive gallbladder cultures and wound infection. The consequences of wound infections can be serious and this study showed a morbidity rate comparable with the literature. The incisions used in laparoscopic gallbladder surgery are less susceptible to major problems. This combined with the significantly lower incidence of wound infections after laparoscopic cholecystectomy suggests that routine antibiotic prophylaxis as recommended for biliary surgery in general is now questionable.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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