NYMC Faculty Publications

Purse-String vs. Linear Skin Closure at Loop Ileostomy Reversal: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Journal Title

Techniques in Coloproctology

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Publication Date

March 2019




BACKGROUND: There is no level 1a evidence regarding the best technique for skin closure at loop ileostomy reversal. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether purse-string skin closure (PSC) is associated with lower surgical site infection (SSI) rates as compared to linear skin closure (LC). METHODS: EMBASE, MEDLINE, Pubmed, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, and CINAHL databases were systematically searched. PSC was defined as a circumferential subcuticular suture leaving a small circular skin defect allowing for free drainage, granulation, and epithelialization. In LC, the wound edges were approximated side to side with or without drainage. The primary endpoint was SSI rate. Secondary endpoints included operating time, length of hospital stay, wound healing time, and incisional hernia rates. STUDY SELECTION: Inclusion criterion was any observational or experimental study comparing PSC to LC in patients undergoing ostomy reversal. RESULTS: Twenty studies (6 experimental and 14 observational) totaling 1812 patients (826 PSC and 986 LC) were included. SSI rates were significantly lower statistically and clinically in patients with PSC [OR (95% CI) = 0.14 (0.09, 0.21); p < 0.0001; NNT = 6] in the meta-analysis of all studies. The subgroup analysis of randomized trials [OR (95% CI) = 0.10 (0.04, 0.21); p < 0.0001; NNT = 6] as well as the analysis of randomized trials including patients with loop ileostomy only [OR (95% CI) = 0.12 (0.05, 0.28); p < 0.0001; NNT = 5] confirmed this finding. CONCLUSIONS: This meta-analysis found that PSC was associated with significantly decreased rates of SSI in patients undergoing loop ileostomy reversal.