Surgical Site Infections in Plastic Surgery: An Italian Multicenter Study

Cecilia M J Drapeau, Carlo D'Aniello, Anna Brafa, Emanuele Nicastri, Alessandro Silvestri, Giuseppe Nisi, Nicola Petrosillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Plastic surgery interventions have increased in terms of frequency, complexity of surgical procedures, and postoperative complications, particularly surgical site infections (SSIs). The aim of the present study was to assess the SSI frequency in plastic and reconstructive surgery settings in Italy and to evaluate the associated risk factors. Methods: From June 2004 to June 2005, a prospective multicenter study including 2806 consecutive patients was conducted in 23 Italian plastic and reconstructive units. To assess potential risk factors for surgical site infection, a conditional logistic regression model was used and results were exposed in terms of odds ratio (OR) with their respective 95% confidence interval (CI). Results: SSIs occurred in 85/2806 (3%) patients. Sixty (70.6%), 24 (28.2%), and 1 (1.2%) SSIs were classified as superficial, deep, and organ/space, respectively. Sixty-six percent of the SSIs were diagnosed during postdischarge surveillance. At multivariate analysis, diabetes mellitus, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, preoperative radiotherapy, and use of surgical drains were significantly associated with the occurrence of SSI. Conclusions: Our findings, based on a large population including all types of plastic and reconstructive interventions, provided consistent information on potential risk factors for SSI in this surgical setting. Moreover, the high rate of SSI found during the postdischarge surveillance underlines the need for improving active surveillance methodologies in this surgical setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-397
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007


  • plastic surgery
  • risk factors
  • surgical infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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