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Module: Principles of Surgical Practice

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Pre-operative risk assessment: wound failure and incisional hernias


Peter Devitt
Consultant Surgeon
Chair, MCQ Panel of Examiners
Australian Medical Council


An accurate and objective preoperative assessment of any patient is essential - and all the more important when a preventable postoperative complication could add to the morbidity and costs of health care.

In any risk factor analysis, there are several components:
  • general
  • patient-related
A methodical approach in the assessment is required, to help determine how these risk can be minimised. This case study will focus on a relatively common problem, namely, wound failure and its long-term sequela, incisional hernia.

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