OBJECTIVE: To assess the rate of wound complications and evaluate the effectiveness of antibiotic prophylaxis in vulvar wide local excision procedures. METHODS: We performed a single-institution, retrospective cohort study of women undergoing vulvar surgery for premalignant lesions between January 2007 and January 2017. The primary outcome was a composite wound complication rate that included breakdown or infection within 8 weeks postoperatively. Data were analyzed using Fisher exact or x2 test, Student t-test, and Poisson regression. RESULTS: Wound complications occurred in 154 (28.7%) of the 537 patients. Mean age was 52 years; most patients were white (83.1%), cigarette smokers (65.2%), had no prior vulvar treatment (54.4%), and had a preoperative diagnosis of high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (vulvar HSIL) (70.0%). The presence of other predisposing factors was similar between groups. In multivariate analysis, smoking (odds ratio [OR] 1.64, 95% CI 1.14–2.38) and primary rather than repeat vulvar surgery (OR 1.99, 95% CI 1.31–3.01) were associated with increased risk for wound complications. There was no significant difference in wound complications between women who received preoperative antibiotics and those who did not (30.4% vs 27.4%, P5.45), although the mean length of wound separation in the antibiotic group was shorter (1 vs 2 cm, P5.03). CONCLUSION: Wound complications are common among women undergoing surgery for vulvar HSIL, and interventional trials are warranted to evaluate the role of smoking cessation and prophylactic antibiotics to reduce postoperative morbidity.