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dermatological surgery, dermatology, minor surgery, Newcastle-Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale, risk factors, SSI, surgical site infection, wound infection



  1. Delpachitra, Meth Ruvinda MBBS (Hons), BMedSci (Hons)
  2. Heal, Clare PhD, MBChB, DRANZCOG, DipGUMed, FRACGP, MPHTM
  3. Banks, Jennifer PhD, MBS, BBS
  4. Divakaran, Pranav MBBS
  5. Pawar, Mrinal MBBS


OBJECTIVE: To identify patient- and procedure-related risk factors for surgical site infection following minor dermatological surgery.


DATA SOURCES: The MEDLINE, Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Informit, and Scopus databases were searched for relevant literature on patient populations receiving minor surgery, where risk factors for surgical site infection were explicitly stated.


STUDY SELECTION: Studies involving major dermatological surgery were excluded. The preliminary search yielded 820 studies after removing duplicates; 210 abstracts were screened, and 42 full texts were assessed for eligibility. A total of 13 articles were included. Studies were appraised using the Newcastle-Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale.


DATA EXTRACTION: An electronic data collection tool was constructed to extract information from the eligible studies, and this information was distributed to participating authors.


DATA SYNTHESIS: Risk factors identified included age, sex, diabetes mellitus, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, use of antihypertensive or corticosteroid medications, smoking, surgery on the lower or upper extremities, excision of nonmelanocytic skin cancers, large skin excisions, and complex surgical techniques. No more than two studies agreed on any given risk factor, and there were insufficient studies for meta-analysis.


CONCLUSIONS: Re-excision of skin cancer, below-knee excisions, and intraoperative hemorrhagic complications were predictive for infection in more than one study. More high-quality studies are required to accurately identify risk factors so they can be reliably used in clinical guidelines.