Evaluation of Postoperative Infections in Patients Undergoing Abdominal Surgery: A Systematic Review

Document Type : Review Article


Patient Safety Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.


Introduction: Postoperative infectious complications impose substantial costs on patients, increase the length of hospitalization and adversely affect patient outcomes. Several predisposing factors have been suggested for the development of infections after elective surgeries. This study aimed to evaluate the rate of infectious complications following elective abdominal surgery. 
Materials and Methods: This systematic review was performed via searching in databases such as Cochrane Library and MEDLINE until December 2014, and articles with available abstracts were included in the study. In addition, manual search was conducted within the reference lists of selected articles. Inclusion criteria and quality of related articles were evaluated by two reviewers independently, and required data were extracted. 
Results: Among related studies, the earliest article was published in 1988, and the most recent one was published in 2013. All studies were performed on adult patients. Surgical Site Infections (SSIs) were reported to be the third most frequent hospital-acquired infections, with the prevalence rate of 4.7-25% in patients undergoing elective colorectal surgery. 
Conclusions: According to the results of this study, postoperative infections are a global issue, leading to several health consequences and increased morbidity and mortality among different patients. Patient factors are considered as the main predisposing factors associated with these infections.