The use of silver nylon in preventing surgical site infections following colon and rectal surgery

Beth R. Krieger, Donald M. Davis, Jaime E. Sanchez, James J.L. Mateka, Valentine N. Nfonsam, Jared C. Frattini, Jorge E. Marcet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Patients who undergo colorectal surgery have up to a 30% chance of developing a surgical site infection postoperatively. Silverlon is a silver nylon dressing designed to prevent surgical site infections, but only anecdotal evidence has previously supported its efficacy. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of silver nylon dressings in patients undergoing colorectal surgery. DESIGN: We performed a prospective, randomized, controlled trial comparing a silver nylon dressing with gauze dressings in patients undergoing elective colorectal surgery. SETTING: The study was performed at a university-based, tertiary referral center. PATIENTS: We studied patients undergoing elective colorectal surgery with an abdominal skin incision of at least 3 cm. INTERVENTION: Patients were randomly assigned to receive either a silver nylon or a gauze dressing. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary end point was surgical site infection occurring within 30 days of surgery. RESULTS: One hundred ten patients were enrolled in the study and were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 treatment groups. After a 30-day follow-up period, the incidence of surgical site infection was lower in the silver nylon group compared with the control group (13% vs 33%, P = .011). Twenty-five patients in the study developed superficial surgical site infections, 5 in the silver nylon group and 14 in the control group (P = .021). Two patients in the study group developed deep wound infections compared with 4 in the control group (P = .438). Multivariate analysis revealed that patients in the control group had a 3-fold increase in risk of infection compared with patients in the silver nylon group (P = .013). LIMITATIONS: A limitation of this study is that the members of the surgical team were not blinded to the treatment groups. CONCLUSION: Silver nylon is safe and effective in preventing surgical site infection following colorectal surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1014-1019
Number of pages6
JournalDiseases of the Colon and Rectum
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011


  • Colon and rectal surgery
  • Silver
  • Surgical site infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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