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Galveston, Texas 77550


The purpose of this study is to determine if surgical dressings removed at 24 hours or 48 hours improves wound healing and appearance, and to determine if surgical dressings removed after 24 hours or 48 hours decreases the incidence of post-operative wound infections.

Study summary:

Immediate wound coverage is one of the cornerstones of post-operative wound management. Dressings are typically left in place for 24 to 48 hours following cesarean section to allow ample time for healing and re-epithelialization. The functions of a surgical dressing for wound healing by primary intention are to control postoperative bleeding, absorb exudate, ease pain, and provide protection for newly-formed epithelium. The skin is an important anatomical barrier against microbes; the reformation of an intact epithelial system following injury is an important milestone for the prevention of infection. Wound healing is a dynamic process that involves the coordinated interaction of a variety of cells, including cytokines, blood cells, extracellular matrix proteins, and parenchyma cells. Wound healing has been artificially divided into three phases: inflammation, tissue formation (proliferation), and tissue remodeling. These phases do not correspond to a precise period of time following injury, and all of the phases overlap to some degree. Re-epithelialization occurs during the proliferation phase and it is defined as the process of restoring an intact epidermis after injury. It involves several processes, including the migration and proliferation of adjacent epidermal keratinocytes into the wound, the differentiation of the neo-epithelium into a stratified epidermis, and the restoration of an intact basement membrane zone (BMZ) that will connect the epidermis and the underlying dermis. Re-epithelialization of wounds begins within hours after injury. Within 24 hours, keratinocytes are actively proliferating from the margins of the wound to cover the defect. Surgical wounds that are closed by primary intention usually heal rapidly, and re-epithelialization is thought to occur within 24 to 48 hours. Early studies into wound care demonstrated that dressings influence the repair process. The post-operative wound dressing acts to ensure the wound bed stays moist, decrease pain and inflammation, and improve scar appearance. Additionally, occlusive dressings increase the rate of re-epithelialization post-operatively compared to those wounds left open. The importance of dressings has been established, but the ideal time that postoperative dressings should remain in place remains elusive. Studies have shown that early removal of dressings (6 hours after wounding) markedly decreases the rate of resurfacing, while leaving the bandage on for greater than 48 hours produced no greater benefit. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that the sterile dressing stay in place for 24-48 hours post-operatively on an incision that has been closed by primary intention. Although the window of benefit provided by bandages has not been further refined since these earlier studies. By defining the period during which dressings will promote epithelial resurfacing, our ability to use the dressing optimally will be enhanced. Our goal of this study is to investigate if there is a difference in outcomes in dressings that are left in place for 24 hours versus 48 hours. While epithelial proliferation begins within hours of closure, it is not at its maximum until 48 to 72 hours following injury. Current standard of care is to keep the dressing in place 24 to 48 hours post-operatively. However, there is no data comparing the optimum timing between 24 and 48 hours. We will therefore assess the benefit of leaving the dressing in place for 24 vs 48 hours post-operatively by evaluating its impact on wound appearance and incidence of surgical site infections using the ASEPSIS scoring method. The ASEPSIS is a quantitative scoring method that provides a numerical score related to the severity of wound infection using objective criteria based on wound appearance and the clinical consequences of the infection. Severity of impaired wound healing is indicated by the total score as follows: satisfactory healing 0 to 10; disturbance of healing 11 to 20; minor wound infection 21 to 30; moderate wound infection 31 to 40; and severe wound infection more than 40.


Inclusion Criteria: - Pregnant Patients between the ages of 18-50 planning to undergo cesarean section for delivery. Exclusion Criteria: - Intra-operative findings suggestive of underlying cancerous condition - Known preoperative infectious disease. - Hysterectomy during cesarean section.



Primary Contact:

Principal Investigator
Gokhan S Kilic, MD
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

Backup Contact:


Location Contact:

Galveston, Texas 77550
United States

There is no listed contact information for this specific location.

Site Status: N/A

Data Source: ClinicalTrials.gov

Date Processed: November 18, 2019

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