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

Massimo Franchi, Fabio Ghezzi, Pier Luigi Benedetti-Panici, Mauro Melpignano, Luca Fallo, Saverio Tateo, Renato Maggi, Giovanni Scambia, Giorgia Mangili, Marco Buttarelli

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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

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-132
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001



  • Cold scalpel
  • Diathermy
  • Electrocautery
  • Wound incision
  • Wound infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

Cite this

Franchi, M., Ghezzi, F., Benedetti-Panici, P. L., Melpignano, M., Fallo, L., Tateo, S., Maggi, R., Scambia, G., Mangili, G., & Buttarelli, M. (2001). A multicentre collaborative study on the use of cold scalpel and electrocautery for midline abdominal incision. American Journal of Surgery, 181(2), 128-132. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0002-9610(00)00561-4