Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery

, Volume 14, Issue 7, pp 1090–1098 | Cite as

Prophylaxis and Management of Wound Infections after Elective Colorectal Surgery: A Survey of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons Membership

  • Katharine W. Markell
  • Ben M. Hunt
  • Paul D. Charron
  • Rodney J. Kratz
  • Jeffrey Nelson
  • John T. Isler
  • Scott R. Steele
  • Richard P. Billingham
Original Article



Postoperative wound infections are a widespread and costly problem, especially in colorectal surgery. Despite their prevalence, there are few data regarding appropriate management and prevention strategies.

Materials and Methods

In order to assess current attitudes and practices about this subject, and as a guide to designing a randomized trial to gather evidence in order to support data-driven protocol development, an e-mail survey was sent to the membership of the American Society of Colorectal Surgeons to assess current attitudes and practices pertaining to prevention and management of wound infections.


Most respondents estimated that the wound infection rate in their own patients was much lower than commonly reported in the literature. Use of evidence-based perioperative strategies for reducing wound infection, such as the use of a wound protector, hyperoxygenation, and implementation of the Surgical Care Improvement Project guidelines, were far from universal. Management strategies varied widely, without apparent rational basis.


Based on the practices and beliefs in the surgical community, it is our hope that a multi-institutional study can be carried out to objectify best practices in both the effective and cost-effective management of this common condition and to reduce the wide variation in the treatment of surgical site infections.


Prophylaxis Wound infections Elective colorectal surgery 


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Copyright information

© The Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katharine W. Markell
    • 1
  • Ben M. Hunt
    • 1
  • Paul D. Charron
    • 1
  • Rodney J. Kratz
    • 1
  • Jeffrey Nelson
    • 1
  • John T. Isler
    • 1
  • Scott R. Steele
    • 1
  • Richard P. Billingham
    • 1
  1. 1.Swedish Colon & Rectal ClinicSeattleUSA

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