Prospective study of wound complications in continuous infrainguinal incisions after lower limb arterial reconstruction: Incidence, risk factors, and cost

K. C. Kent, S. Bartek, K. M. Kuntz, E. Anninos, J. J. Skillman

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132 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background. Wound complications after lower extremity arterial reconstruction can range from a minor lymphatic leak that causes minimal disability to a severe infection that jeopardizes the limb and life of the affected patient. This study was designed to define more clearly the incidence, severity, and cost of these complications. Methods. During a 1- year period the infrainguinal incisions of all patients undergoing lower limb arterial reconstruction were evaluated prospectively. One hundred fifty-six infrainguinal incisions were monitored serially for the presence of infection, hematoma, seroma, serous leak, necrosis, or wound dehiscence. The need for additional treatment or services related to these complications and the cost of these services were determined. Results. Complications occurred in 10% of 77 infrainguinal incisions that were isolated to the groin (groin incisions) e.g., after aortobifemoral bypass, common femoral endarterectomy). In only one of these patients was significant cost related to treatment of a complication. Complications occurred in 44 % of 79 incisions used for femoral popliteal/tibial and pedal bypasses (distal incisions). In this latter group independent predictors of any complication were age (p = 0.02) and obesity (p = 0.05); predictors of in-hospital infection were preoperative evidence of venous stasis (p = 0.01) and preoperative infection in the same extremity (p = 0.08). Fifteen distal wound complications provided additional expense related to reoperation, extended hospitalization or rehospitalization, and rehabilitation or visiting nurse services, with a mean cost per patient undergoing reconstruction of $688. Conclusions. After lower limb arterial reconstruction, infrainguinal wound complications in isolated groin incisions produce minimal morbidity and cost, whereas complications in incisions after distal bypass are both frequent and associated with significant additional expense.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)378-383
Number of pages6
JournalSurgery
Volume119
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1996

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Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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