Increased body fat among patients of all demographic brackets increases their risk for surgical site infections. Preoperative assessments could go a long way in understanding the risks, which in turn inform development of effective postoperative infections management solutions such as antibiotics and subcutaneous drain. The following part appraises several research reports that address the aforementioned problem.
The study by Mehta et al. (2013) clearly explains that surgical site infections increase the risk for postoperative morbidity and mortality, and increases healthcare costs. The study underscores the need to assess the patient’s subcutaneous fat layer to determine the risk. The article provides statistical data to support the importance of the problem, reporting that on average, patients who developed surgical site infections had a subcutaneous fat thickness of 27.0 ± 2.5 mm, compared to their infection-free counterparts whose subcutaneous fat thickness was 21.4 ± 0.88 mm. The study does not give the incidence rate, but its findings suggest an increased rate of postoperative infections with increase in the thickness of the fat layer. The research article supports my proposal of performing preoperative assessments to understand the risk.
The research article by Fujii et al. (2011) explains the problem of incisional surgical site infection, noting that it is linked to obesity and the thickness of the patient’s subcutaneous fat. The study underscores the risk and proposes a solution_ subcutaneous drain. The article gives a clear, reliable description of the problem and solution. To demonstrate the gravity of the issue, the article reports that the average incisional surgical site infection incidence rate was 27.8% and that with subcutaneous drain application, the postoperative infection rate dropped from 38.6% (surgical site infection without subcutaneous drain) to 14.3%. The statistics underscore the fact that surgical site infections are a real problem, but the proposed method solution can help reduce the infection rate. While the article does not directly support the proposed change in this write-up, its evidence that subcutaneous drain could be used to reduce the postoperative infection risk is a viable conclusion that is related to the solution mentioned at the introductory part.
The research article by Mehta et al. (2012) who investigated whether distribution of body mass was a significant risk factor for lumbar spinal fusion postoperative infections, write that lumbar spine surgery remains an important cause of morbidity and mortality, primarily due to postoperative infections, whose risk increases as the patient’s subcutaneous fat layer thickness increases. The authors report statistical data obtained from their research to show that this is a serious problem. For example, the researchers report that of the 298 participants, 24 developed a surgical site infection. The article reports an 8% incidence rate of surgical site infections that are linked to obesity and the thickness of the subcutaneous layer, which underscores the gravity of problem of post-operative infections. Based on their findings, the researchers conclude that distribution of body mass is an important risk factor for postoperative infections, which necessitates attention during preoperative assessments with a view to reducing the risk. The conclusion supports the proposed solution in this paper.
All in all, postoperative infections are an important problem that requires attention. Seeing as research links the thickness of subcutaneous fat layer with an increased risk of surgical site infections, it is important that preoperative assessments consider the factors.
Fujii, T., Tabe, Y., Yajima, R., Yamaguchi, S., Tsutsumi, S., Asao, T., Kuwano, H. (2011).
Effects of subcutaneous drain for the prevention of incisional SSI in high-risk patients undergoing colorectal surgery. Intl, J Colorectal Dis., 26 (9): 1151-1155.
Mehta, A.I., Babu, R., Karikari, I.O., et al. (2012). 2012 Young Investigator Award winner: The
distribution of body mass as a significant risk factor for lumbar spinal fusion postoperative infections. Spine (Phila Pa 1976), 37 (19): 1652-1656.
Mehta, A. I., Babu, R., Sharma, R., et al. (2013). Thickness of subcutaneous fat as a risk factor
for infection in cervical spine fusion surgery. Journal of Bone Joint Surgery Am., 95 (4): 323-328.