Use of a subcutaneous closed drainage system and antibiotics in obese gynecologic patients

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1996 Aug;175(2):358-61; discussion 362. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9378(96)70146-1.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of subcutaneous closed drainage systems and prophylactic antibiotics on the wound breakdown rate in obese patients undergoing gynecologic surgery.

Study design: A prospective study was performed on 197 obese patients who were randomly selected to have a subcutaneous drain. Incision closure technique was standardized. Antibiotic usage was not randomized. Demographic data, perioperative data, and postoperative complications were noted and analyzed by X2 test and 2 x 2 contingency tables.

Results: The overall complication rate was 25%, with 20% (22/109) among the group receiving a drain versus 31% (27/88) without a drain. Seventeen patients (8.6%) had wound breakdowns: 7 of 109 (6.4%) with drains and 10 of 88 (11.4%) without drains. Prophylactic antibiotics were given to 46% (50/109) in the drain group and 51% (45/88) without a drain. Fewer patients (2%) with a drain receiving antibiotics had wound breakdowns. The group with the most breakdowns had neither a drain nor antibiotics (14%).

Conclusion: We suggest the use of subcutaneous drains plus prophylactic antibiotics may decrease morbidity when operating on obese gynecologic patients.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibiotic Prophylaxis*
  • Drainage / methods*
  • Female
  • Genital Diseases, Female / complications
  • Genital Diseases, Female / surgery*
  • Gynecology / methods
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surgical Wound Infection / prevention & control*
  • Wound Healing