Background: Skin preparation with antiseptic agents is commonly recommended for incisional site cleansing before surgery. We present the result of a prospective case series submitted to a scheduled pre-operative antiseptic procedure combining chlorhexidine gluconate and povidone-iodine before elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
Patients and methods: Consecutive patients underwent pre-operative standardized cleansing of the operation site combining chlorhexidine gluconate and povidone-iodine. Patients were reviewed one week and four weeks post-operatively.
Results: Post-operative infection was observed in seven patients (4.3%). All observed infections were port-site infections, always located at the level of the umbilical incision. In all cases infections involved skin and subcutaneous tissue. Staphylococcus aureus was isolated in five patients (71.4%) and miscellaneous aerobic gram-positive bacteria in two subjects (28.6%). Post-operative hospital stay was the only factor significantly associated with the development of port-site infections.
Conclusions: Port-site infections are a common complication after elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy. The proposed pre-operative disinfection procedure is effective in reducing port-site infections. Reducing hospital stay may contribute to limiting the occurrence of this complication.
Keywords: incision infection; laparoscopic cholecystectomy; pre-operative antisepsis.