DOI: 10.1093/bjs/znad258.467 ISSN:

65 Conservative Management of Wound Dehiscence Following Inguinal Lymph Node Dissection Using Topical Metronidazole Gel Compared to Simple Wound Packing - a Cohort Study

M Ridwanul Hassan, N Henry
  • Surgery



The aim of this study is to determine the effect of simple packing against topical metronidazole in the management of wound dehiscence following inguinal lymph node dissection.


This is a retrospective cohort study of all adult patients who underwent groin dissection between 2014 and 2020 at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. Patients who had flaps or grafts for wound closure, and those with incomplete follow up records were excluded. Patients who developed wound dehiscence were treated with either topical metronidazole or simple packing and were followed up regularly by specialist wound care nurses. Data was collected from electronic medical records from the date of procedure to the latest follow up and analysed in SPSS. The two groups were compared for the time taken for the wound to heal in days as the primary outcome.


From the 157 patients that had groin dissection, 76 (48.4%) developed wound dehiscence. Eight of them were still unhealed at the time of data collection. Among the 68 healed patients, 32 (47%) had been treated with metronidazole-soaked packing, and 44 (53%) had received packing without metronidazole. The two groups were comparable in terms of age, sex, indication for groin dissection and wound size. The mean time to healing for patients treated with topical metronidazole was 63.7±40 days, compared to 45 ±24.7 days in the non-metronidazole group. The difference is significant with a p value of 0.02.


Simple packing of dehisced wounds following groin dissection leads to significantly shorter healing times compared to topical metronidazole.

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