Can Intraoperative Drains Reduce Overall Wound Complications in Spinal Procedures?

A meta-analysis of 5 randomized controlled trials found that the placement of intraoperative drains during spinal procedures does not significantly affect the risk of postoperative wound complications such as hematomas or surgical site infections. There was no statistical difference in wound infection incidence, overall wound complications, postoperative hematomas, pain scores, or procedure duration between patients who did and did not have drains placed. Study limitations include a small review population, limited data on patient age and sex, and potential study bias. The researchers concluded that drain placement in spinal surgery is not a decisive factor in complications from surgical site infections.

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