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The decision about the incision: Is midline or transverse better for abdominal surgery?
Date:6/30/2009

is given. The surgeon who performs the operation does not participate in gathering data. While still in the operating theater, a dressing is put on the patient, which is not removed until two days after the operation. Before it is removed, the amount of pain medication that was given is calculated and the patient assesses the pain using a scale. "The patients have no way of knowing how they were operated on," reports Dr. Seiler.

The consumption of pain medication and degree of pain immediately after the operation were the same for both procedures. There were also hardly any differences in long-term complications: The patients were examined twice, one month and one year after the surgery. The investigators tested possible consequences of the operation such as mortality, respiratory problems, digestive problems, length of hospitalization, scar ruptures, and wound infections. Statistically, there were no differences between the two groups only wound infections were significantly more frequent for transverse incisions.

Dr. Seiler says, "This is difficult to explain. Perhaps it is linked to less control of bleeding or the higher risk of hematoma." He added that previous studies had not indicated a higher risk. The surgeons in Heidelberg thus draw the conclusion that there is thus a scientific basis for allowing the surgeon the free choice of incision technique.


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Contact: Dr. Christoph M. Seiler
christoph.seiler@med.uni-heidelberg.de
062-215-66980
University Hospital Heidelberg
Source:Eurekalert  

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The decision about the incision: Is midline or transverse better for abdominal surgery?
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