Background: Surgical site infections (SSI) are one of the most common complications of bariatric surgery. The Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement (QI) Program (MBSAQIP) allows accredited programs to develop processes for quality improvement based on data collection. The objective of this study was to decrease SSI rates in patients undergoing bariatric surgery at an accredited MBSAQIP center. Methods: Using the MBSAQIP semiannual report, SSI rates were retrospectively reviewed. Baseline SSI rates were collected from 01/01/2014–12/31/2015. On 01/01/2016, the first infection prevention protocol (IPP-1) was created that included 4% chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) showers, CHG wipes immediately prior to surgery, and routine cultures of SSIs. An updated IPP (IPP-2) was implemented on 09/01/2016, which discontinued routine surgical drain placement and broadened antibiotic coverage for penicillin allergic patients. Results: During baseline data collection, SSI rates were 5.1%. After the implementation of IPP-1, SSI rates trended down to 2.5%. After implementation of IPP-2, SSI rates decreased significantly to 1.5%, a 66% relative risk reduction in SSIs from baseline. On multivariate regression analysis, the perioperative factors associated with an increased risk for SSIs included diabetes mellitus, intraoperative surgical drain placement, the number of hypertension medications prior to bariatric surgery, and an open approach. Conclusions: Our study demonstrates that the implementation of a specific protocol for reducing SSIs is safe and feasible in patients undergoing bariatric surgery. We also identified that the success of the IPP is likely centered on the elimination of routine drain placement during primary bariatric procedures.
- Bariatric surgery
- Complications of bariatric surgery
- Surgical drain
- Surgical site infection