, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 397-404
Date: 15 Jun 2012

Surgical site infections after coronary artery bypass graft surgery: incidence, perioperative hospital stay, readmissions, and revision surgeries

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High-tech operations performed in cardiac surgery are associated with an increased risk of surgical site infections. In this study, we investigated if surgical site infections following cardiac surgery influence revision surgeries and patients’ length of stay, and compared the results to German hospital infection surveillance data.


Over a period of 3 years, 2,621 patients of a cardiac surgery unit were enrolled following cardiac artery bypass graft surgery. Patients were examined for the incidence of surgical site infections, revision surgeries, and length of stay. The results were compared to the National Reference Center (NRC) data retrospectively.


Of the observed population, 4.5 % suffer from surgical site infections, and in 7.7 % of the patients, revision surgery had to be performed. The length of stay was exceeded significantly for the patients with surgical site infections (average stay 14.5 vs. 42.2 days, p < 0.001). Compared to the NRC data, severe surgical site infections were not increased significantly.


Surgical site infections resulted in revision surgeries with a significantly increased inpatient stay. However, this increase did not differ significantly from comparable German university hospitals.