Background: Perineal wound following abdominoperineal resection (APR) is associated with high complication rate and delayed healing. We aim to evaluate the risk factors for delayed wound healing and wound complications following APR. Methods: A retrospective review of patients who underwent APR was performed. Non-delayed wound healing occurred within 6 weeks. Major complications included infection, necrosis, and dehiscence that required surgical interventions. Minor complications included drainage and superficial dehiscence that were treated conservatively. Patients were compared for type of wound closure (primary vs. flap reconstruction). Effect of patients’ demographic and clinical variables on time to healing, and on major and minor wound complications was examined. Results: 215 patients were identified, of which 175 (81 %) had primary closure and 40 (19 %) had flap reconstruction. Overall, major wound complications occurred in 14 (7 %) of patients and minor wound complications occurred in 48 (22 %). Mean time to wound healing was 6.3 weeks in the primary closure group and 9.3 weeks in the flap reconstruction group (p = 0.02). Delayed wound healing occurred in 44 (25 %) of the primary closure group and in 25 (62 %) of the flap reconstruction group (p < 0.001). Delayed wound healing was associated with smoking (p = 0.005), hypoalbuminemia (p = 0.05), neoadjuvant chemotherapy (p = 0.02), and flap reconstruction (p = 0.03). Hypoalbuminemia was associated with major wound complications (p = 0.002), while neoadjuvant chemotherapy was associated with minor wound complications (p = 0.01). Conclusions: Wound complications and delayed healing are related to patients’ nutritional status, smoking, and neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Patients with these risk factors are at risk of delayed wound healing even if they underwent flap reconstruction.
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