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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 9  |  Page : 1318-1323

Does preoperative chemical depilation make any difference in postoperative wound infection?


1 Department of Surgery, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Nigeria
2 Department of Pediatrics, University of Nigeria Enugu Campus, Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. C C Okoli
Department of Surgery, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, PMB 5025, Nnewi
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/njcp.njcp_149_20

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Background: Preparation for surgery has traditionally included the removal of body hair from the intended surgical wound site. The effect of this practice on postoperative wound infection is yet to be fully elucidated.Aims: This study sought to determine if preoperative chemical depilation reduces the risk of surgical site infection (SSI). Methodology: Two methods of preoperative hair removal: razor shaving and depilatory cream were compared. The eligible patients were randomized into two groups and the presence of postoperative wound infection was evaluated using the Southampton wound grading system. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 21 Chicago-Illinois, statistical significance was inferred at Pvalue ≤ 0.05. Results: In total 100 patients were analyzed with 20 patients excluded due to co-morbidities and noncompletion of the study. The overall prevalence of SSI was 18.0% (7 (14.0%) and 11 (22.0%) in the depilatory cream and razor shaving groups, respectively). The difference in the rate of SSI was not statistically significant (P = 0.436). Hair was completely removed in 47 (94.0%) compared to 38 (76.0%) patients in the razor shaving group (P = 0.012) while skin injuries were noted in 21 (42.0%) vs 1 (2.0%) patients who had razor shaving and chemical depilation(P = <0.0001), respectively. Conclusion: There was no significant difference in SSI rates in patients that had preoperative chemical depilation when compared with razor shaving.


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