We report the outcome in 1,079 consecutive clean or clean-contaminated.midline abdominal incisions closed with running 0-loop nylon suture after both elective and emergency operations done between 1984 and 1991. Postoperatively, 79 patients were lost to follow-up, resulting in 1,000 having long-term follow-up. Mean follow-up among these patients was 22 months. Early wound complications included subcutaneous wound infection (18), deep wound infection (17), dehiscence (13), fistula (2), and suture sinus (2). A ventral hernia developed in 42 (4.2%) cases dining follow-up. By chi-square analysis, wound infection, dehiscence, class of clean-contaminated wound, patient age >65, or previous midline abdominal incision were not identified as risk factors for development of a ventral hernia. Reuse of a previous midline incision in combination with any wound infection was associated with an increased risk of subsequent ventral hernia (stepwise regression). In our experience, running closure of a vertical midline abdominal wound has not been associated with an excessive incidence of wound complications or of ventral hernia.
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