Plastic Freezer Bags: A Cost-effective Method to Protect Extraction Sites in Laparoscopic Colorectal Procedures?

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Purpose:To review surgical-site infection (SSI) and retrieval-site tumor recurrence rates in laparoscopic colorectal procedures when using a plastic freezer bag as a wound protector.Methods:Laparoscopic colorectal procedures where a plastic freezer bag used as a wound protector at the extraction site were reviewed between 1991 and 2008 from a prospectively collected database. χ2 test was used to compare SSI and tumor recurrence rates between groups. Costing data were obtained from the operating room supplies department.Results:A total of 936 cases with 51 (5.45%) surgical-site infections were identified. SSI rates did not differ when comparing groups based on demographic factors, diagnosis, or location of procedure. Retrieval-site tumor recurrence rate was 0.21% (1/474). Cost of plastic freezer bags including sterilization ranged from $0.25 to $3.Conclusions:Plastic freezer bags as wound protectors in laparoscopic colorectal procedures are cost effective and have SSI and retrieval-site tumor recurrence rates that compare favorably to published data.

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