TITLE

A Prospective Study Comparing Diathermy and Scalpel Incisions in Tension-Free Inguinal Hernioplasty

AUTHOR(S)
Chrysos, Emmanuel; Athanasakis, Elias; Antonakakis, Sokratis; Xynos, Evaghelos; Zoras, Odysseas
PUB. DATE
April 2005
SOURCE
American Surgeon;Apr2005, Vol. 71 Issue 4, p326
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Although still controversial, the use of diathermy instead of scalpel for skin incision and underlying tissue dissection is gradually gaining wide acceptance. This is due to the observation that no change in wound complication rates or postoperative pain are reported with the use of electrocautery. However, these studies include operations without the use of prosthetic materials during abdominal wall closure. The purpose of this study was to investigate the hypothesis that a) application of extreme heat may result in significant postoperative pain and poor wound healing because of excessive tissue damage and scarring respectively, and b) skin incision with the use of diathermy entails increased risk of wound infection in the presence of an underlying prosthetic material. One hundred twenty-five consecutive patients submitted to inguinal hernioplasty using the tension-free technique and fulfilling the inclusion criteria for the study were allocated alternately to either scalpel (n = 60), or diathermy (n = 57) groups. Eight patients had bilateral hernias. Five of them were allocated to the scalpel group and three to the diathermy group. According to the study protocol, they received both approaches for skin and underlying tissues incision, thus resulting in a total of 68 scalpel and 65 diathermy individual hernioplasties. Parameters measured included blood loss during the skin incision and underlying tissue dissection, postoperative pain and requirements for analgesics, the presence of wound dehiscence in the absence of infection, and postoperative wound infection on the day of discharge, on the day staples were removed, and 1 month after surgery. The two groups of patients were similar in relation to patient demographics, type of hernias, and operation details. Blood loss was minimal, and the amount of blood lost did not differ between the two groups. Diathermy group patients required less parenteral analgesics on the first postoperative day. A higher proportion...
ACCESSION #
16939696

 

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