(Surgical Wound Dehiscence; Operative Wound Dehiscence)
by Catherine Duffek, MLS, MS
Wound dehiscence is the parting of the layers of a surgical wound. Either the surface layers separate or the whole wound splits open. This is a serious condition and requires care from your doctor.
Wound dehiscence varies depending on the kind of surgery you have. The following is a list of generalized causes:
Risk Factors TOP
The following factors increase your chance of developing wound dehiscence.
If you experience one or more of these symptoms in the surgical area, contact your doctor.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and examine the surgical area. Tests may include the following:
If you are diagnosed with wound dehiscence, follow your doctor's instructions.
American Academy of Family Physicians
American College of Surgeons
Canadian Association of Wound Care
The Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons
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Dorland WN. Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders, Harcourt Health Sciences; 2005.
Porter RS. The Merck Manual of Medical Information Home Edition. 2nd ed. Whitehouse Station, NJ: Merck Research Laboratories; 2004.
Schwartz S, Brunicardi F, et al. Schwartz’s Principles of Surgery. 8th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2007.
Last reviewed September 2012 by Marcin Chwistek, MD
Last Updated: 09/27/2012