Patient-Related Risk Factors Associated With Surgical Site Complications After Elective Hand Surgery

Tyler Youngman, Michael Del Core, Timothy Benage, Daniel Koehler, Douglas Sammer, Ann Golden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: The purpose of this study was to identify independent risk factors associated with an increased rate of surgical site complications after elective hand surgery. Methods: This study is a retrospective review of all patients who underwent elective hand, wrist, forearm, and elbow surgery over a 10-year period at a single institution. Electronic medical records were reviewed, and information regarding patient demographics, past medical and social history, perioperative laboratory values, procedures performed, and surgical complications was collected. Surgical site complications included surgical site infections, seromas or hematomas, and delayed wound healing or wound dehiscence. A univariate analysis was then performed to identify potential risk factors, which were then included in a multivariate regression analysis. Results: A total of 3261 patients who underwent elective hand surgery and met the above inclusion and exclusion criteria were included in this study. The mean age was 57 years, with 65% female and 35% male patients. The overall surgical complication rate was 2.2%. Univariate analysis of patient factors identified male sex; number of procedures >1; history of drug, alcohol, or smoking use; American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) class III and IV; and serum albumin <3.5 mg/dL to be significantly associated with complications. However, multivariate regression analysis identified that only ASA class III and IV (odds ratio = 3.27) was significantly associated with surgical complications. Conclusions: Patients classified as ASA class III or IV were identified to be at a significantly increased risk of complications following elective hand surgery. Health factors which triage patients into these 2 groups may represent potentially modifiable factors to mitigate perioperative risk in the elective hand surgery population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)789-794
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • complications
  • elective hand surgery
  • infection
  • postoperative
  • risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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