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April 1969

A Clinical and Laboratory Study of Abdominal Wound Closure and Dehiscence

Author Affiliations

Washington, DC
From the Veterans Administration Hospital and the Department of Surgery, Georgetown and George Washington Medical Schools, Washington, DC.

Arch Surg. 1969;98(4):421-427. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1969.01340100053005

Dehiscence and evisceration of abdominal incisions continues to be a serious postoperative problem with a high morbidity and mortality.1-3 Factors such as improved preoperative and postoperative support of the patient, improved methods of anesthesia, and the use of antibiotics which should decrease the incidence of this postoperative complication, have been counterbalanced by the increasing age span of patients undergoing surgery and the magnitude of surgical procedures, particularly for neoplastic and degenerative diseases, to keep the incidence of wound disruption at a fairly constant although highly variable level as reported in the many studies in the literature. In an excellent study of this problem spanning the years 1930 to 1964, Guiney et al4 have shown an actual increase in the incidence of this postoperative complication at the same hospital during recent years, presumably due to the factors mentioned above. Dehiscence, literally a gaping, is the term used to describe