Current practice of abdominal fascial closure: a survey of Ontario general surgeons.
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OBJECTIVES: To determine the current practice of abdominal fascial closure among provincial general surgeons. The primary objective was to determine the proportion of surgeons choosing absorbable versus nonabsorbable sutures. Secondary objectives included determining knowledge and attitudes of surgeons to evidence-based medicine and concordance of current practice with level I evidence. DESIGN: A survey. SETTING: The province of Ontario. PARTICIPANTS: One hundred general surgeons. METHODS: A stratified random sample of community and academic surgeons was assembled and a questionnaire was mailed to them. Common clinical scenarios and questions pertaining to attitudes and knowledge of evidence-based medicine were included. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Use of absorbable versus nonabsorbable suture material. Willingness to change current practice on evidence-based level I reports. RESULTS: Most surgeons (86%) chose an absorbable suture for abdominal fascial closure. Nonabsorbable suture was chosen by 58% of surgeons in the highly contaminated surgical scenario. Eighty-one percent of surgeons indicated they would be willing to change their current practice of fascial closure if there was evidence that the incidence of wound complications was reduced. Polyglactin (Vicryl) was the most commonly chosen suture. CONCLUSIONS: The current practice of abdominal fascial closure among Ontario general surgeons is in disagreement with the findings from a recent meta-analysis, recommending a nonabsorbable suture for a 32% relative risk reduction in the incisional hernia rate. The majority of surgeons employ a continuous absorbable closure in common surgical scenarios. A definitive randomized controlled trial comparing continuous nonabsorbable closure versus continuous absorbable closure is warranted.
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