The perineal wound following abdominoperineal excision (APR) is associated with a high complication rate. We aimed to evaluate the risk factors for wound complications and examine the effect of flap reconstruction on wound healing.Method
The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database was searched for patients who underwent APR for rectal adenocarcinoma. They were divided into two groups: primary closure of the perineal wound and flap reconstruction. A logistic regression analysis was performed to identify the risk factors for deep surgical site infection (SSI) and wound dehiscence.Results
A total of 8449 (94%) patients from the database underwent primary closure and 550 (6%) underwent flap reconstruction. Patients who underwent flap reconstruction had a longer operation time, a higher incidence of deep SSI, wound dehiscence, more blood transfusion requirement and a higher rate of return to the operating room (all P < 0.001). Risk factors for deep SSI were African American race (OR 1.5, P = 0.02), American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) classification ≥ 4 (OR 3.2, P < 0.001), body mass index (BMI) ≥ 35 kg/m2 (OR 1.7, P = 0.006), weight loss (OR 2, P < 0.001) and closure with a flap (OR 1.9, P < 0.001). Risk factors for wound dehiscence included ASA classification ≥ 4 (OR 2.2, P = 0.003), history of smoking (OR 2.2, P < 0.001), history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (OR 1.7, P = 0.03), BMI ≥ 35 kg/m2 (OR 1.9, P = 0.001) and closure with a flap (OR 2.9, P < 0.001).Conclusion
Perineal wound complications are related to a patient's race, ASA classification, smoking, obesity and weight loss. Compared with primary closure, closure with a flap was associated with higher odds of wound infection and dehiscence and was not protective of wound complications in the presence of other risk factors. Therefore optimizing the patient's medical condition will lead to a better outcome irrespective of the technique used for perineal wound closure.