SEPARATION of the wound following an abdominal operation, although infrequent, is a serious complication. An incomplete separation may involve deeper structures, with overlying skin and subcutaneous tissues healing, and a ventral hernia usually results. The wound may separate superficially, with peritoneum intact; a secondary closure or a long period of convalescence during healing by secondary intention ensues and a ventral hernia may develop. The most dramatic complication subsequent to laparotomy is complete separation of the wound, with or without evisceration. The high mortality rate and the heavy cost in time and money to surviving patients are distressing.
Dehiscence, disruption and eventration are synonymous terms used to denote complete separation of an abdominal wound. Continued emphasis on the causes of failure of wound healing is warranted, in an effort to lower the incidence and mortality rate. We are presenting data resulting from a study of cases of wound disruption occurring during