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abscess, drainage, infection, pediatric, surgery, surgical site infection, traumatic wound, vessel loop



  1. Steen, Emily H. MD
  2. Tuley, Jill M. MS
  3. King, Alice MD
  4. Lee, Timothy C. MD
  5. Keswani, Sundeep G. MD, FACS, FAAP


OBJECTIVE: Infected or contaminated wound sites have historically been managed with incision and drainage. Here, the authors review their experience with skin closure over vessel loops and assess the results of this technique in a variety of clinical situations, hypothesizing that minimally invasive drainage strategies are associated with a decrease in common postoperative complications.


METHODS: Investigators retrospectively reviewed the data of all children with infected or contaminated wound sites operated on by a single surgeon with skin closure over vessel loops from September 2016 to September 2018. Demographics, indications for surgery, complications, and follow-up were assessed.


RESULTS: Over a 2-year period, 33 children underwent skin closure over vessel loops. The majority were female (82%), Hispanic/Latino (40%), and younger than 5 years (58%; range, 4 months to 16 years). One-third were obese. Reasons for intervention included skin and soft tissue infection (64%), trauma (15%), and ostomy closure (6%). Median postoperative length of stay was 1 day. Three-quarters (76%) of the patients returned to the clinic for follow-up and/or vessel loop removal. At 30 days after operation, no patients in this cohort returned to the ED with recurrent infection or wound dehiscence.


CONCLUSIONS: This minimally invasive technique for contaminated wound management demonstrates no evidence of subsequent infection in standard follow-up. These results are indicative of specific advantages related to vessel loop drainage, including shorter lengths of stay and ease of wound maintenance, in a variety of challenging clinical scenarios.