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Comparison of superficial surgical site infection following use of diathermyand scalpel for making skin incision in inguinal hernioplasty

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The method of making surgical incision remains a complex problem. Although 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 rate or postoperative pain is reportedwith the use ofDiathermy. However, the fear of excessive scarring and poorwound healing has curtailed itswidespread use for skin incision. The objective of the study is to compare superficial surgical site infection (SSSI) in diathermy and scalpel skin incision in inguinal hernioplasty. Quasi experimental study. Study was conducted at Surgical Unit II, Holy Family Hospital. Rawalpindi from1 Jan. 2008 to 30 September. 2008. Atotal of 80 patients who presented with inguinal hernias were included in the study. Patientswere divided in two groups. Group1: In 40 patients skin incisionwasmadewithDiathermy,Group 2: The other 40 had skin incisionwith scalpel. Themean age of patients in the intervention group (Group 1)was 50 years while in the control group (Group 2) itwas 46 years. 48% patients in Group 1 and 55% in the Group 2 had indirect inguinal hernias. SSSI was noted in 12.5% cases in Group 1 whereas in Group 2 it was 17.5% but this difference was not found to be statistically significant (p value=0.378). The use of diathermy for making skin incisions is as safe as scalpel and there is no significant difference amongst both regardingwound infection.


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