A multicentre collaborative study on the use of cold scalpel and electrocautery for midline abdominal incision

M Franchi, F Ghezzi, P L Benedetti-Panici, M Melpignano, L Fallo, S Tateo, R Maggi, G Scambia, G Mangili, M Buttarelli
American Journal of Surgery 2001, 181 (2): 128-32

BACKGROUND: Although studies in animals demonstrated a better wound healing after abdominal incision with cold scalpel than with electrocautery, clinical experiences did not confirm these findings. The purpose of this study was to compare early and late wound complications between diathermy and scalpel in gynecologic oncologic patients undergoing midline abdominal incision.

METHODS: Patients undergoing midline abdominal incision for uterine malignancies were divided into two groups according to the method used to perform the abdominal midline incision: cold scalpel and diathermy in coagulation mode. Early and late complications were compared. Logistic regressions were used for statistical analysis.

RESULTS: Nine hundred sixty-four patients were included, of whom 531 were in the scalpel group and 433 in the electrocautery group. Both groups were similar with respect to demographic, operative, and postoperative characteristics. Univariate analysis revealed a higher incidence of severe wound complications in the scalpel group than in the electrocautery group (8 of 531 versus 1 of 433, P <0.05). After adjustment for confounding variables (eg, age, body mass index) no differences were found between groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Scalpel and diathermy are similar in terms of early and late wound complications when used to perform midline abdominal incisions. Therefore the choice of which method to use remains only a matter of surgeon preference.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.