Dr. Vishwanath Pai, Dr. Sana Aboosalih, Dr. Dinesh Balaji, Dr. K R Manoj Prabu


Surgical site infection (SSI) is a major problem and one of the most common complications associated with open abdominal surgery. SSI attributes to increased morbidity, mortality, healthcare costs and overall patient discomfort. The most common form of postoperative complication in emergency abdominal surgical procedure is a superficial wound infection, which occurs in the first week of surgery. The role of a subcutaneous negative pressure drain is to reduce the dead space in the subcutaneous tissue plane and there by prevent accumulation of fluid and seroma formation. In this study we observed the role of a subcutaneous negative pressure for preventing SSI following explorative laparotomy surgeries for peritonitis.


A total of 56 patients who underwent exploratory abdominal surgical procedure, in the period between April to September 2019, were observed. The patients are divided into two groups – those treated with subcutaneous drain and those for whom subcutaneous drain was not used. The choice of using a subcutaneous drain is taken by the operating surgeon on call. Antibiotic prophylaxis was applied to each patient and the diagnosis of superficial SSI was made and was graded according to Southampton Grading System.


3 patients in drain group (27) and 14 patients in no drain group (29) had incisional SSI with statistical

difference (p<0.05). The average post operative duration of hospital stay with drain is 5-15 days and amongst those who were managed without drain the average hospital stay is 7-20 days. No statistical difference between the two groups was observed for age and gender of patients (p>0.05).


Subcutaneous negative pressure drain prevents postoperative surgical site infection significantly.

Subcutaneous negative pressure drainage reduces hospital stay and thereby healthcare cost in a patient undergoing exploratory laparotomy surgery.



Abdominal surgery, subcutaneous negative pressure drain, surgical site infection

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