March 1980

Disinfection of Surgical Wounds Without Inhibition of Normal Wound Healing

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Surgery, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.

Arch Surg. 1980;115(3):253-256. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1980.01380030009003

• The goal of disinfection of surgical wounds is to destroy as large a number as possible of the microbes that have made their way into the surgical wounds during the time of surgery, without disturbing the normal wound-healing process. It is not a substitute for preoperative disinfection of the skin or aseptic technique, but makes it possible to further decrease the rate of infection in slightly or moderately contaminated wounds. This was shown with a series of 294 pediatric surgical patients, 283 of whom had undergone appendectomy. A 5% povidone-iodine solution, especially in combination with excipients, was too strong, whereas a 1% povidone-iodine solution without excipients applied to the surgical wound was safe from the standpoint of wound healing, and decreased the number of wound infections in those patients with appendicitis in whom neither peritonitis nor periappendicular abscess had yet developed.

(Arch Surg 115:253-256, 1980)