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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Influence of abdominal-wound closure technique on complications after surgery: a randomised study.

BACKGROUND: Wound complications that occur after closure of midline laparotomy remain challenging. A new continuous double-loop closure (CDLC) technique was developed to avoid wound rupture through resistance to high intra-abdominal pressure and continued approximation of wound edges. We investigated the efficacy of this technique. METHODS: We randomly assigned 390 patients undergoing midline laparotomy-wound closure with the commonly used continuous running suture (CRS) technique (n=204) or with the CDLC technique (n=186). We assessed the influence of closure technique on the rate of wound and other complications, with emphasis on wound dehiscence, pulmonary complications, and death. FINDINGS: The rate of wound complications did not differ significantly between groups. Pulmonary complications were seen in 11 patients (5.4%) in the CRS group, and in 32 patients (17.2%) in the CDLC group (p=0.0002). In the CRS group, 17 (8.3%) patients died, compared with 39 (21.0%) patients in the CDLC group (p=0.0004). INTERPRETATION: The CDLC technique should not be used. The lessened compliance of the abdominal wall, which raises intra-abdominal pressure for long periods, may increase the risk of postoperative pulmonary complications and death. The ideal closure technique should combine strength to prevent wound rupture with elasticity to adapt to increased intra-abdominal pressure.[1]


  1. Influence of abdominal-wound closure technique on complications after surgery: a randomised study. Niggebrugge, A.H., Trimbos, J.B., Hermans, J., Steup, W.H., Van De Velde, C.J. Lancet (1999) [Pubmed]
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