Wound tensile strength and contraction rate are not affected by laparotomy or pneumoperitoneum

J. C. Wickens, R. L. Whelan, J. D.F. Allendorf, J. Donahue, E. Buxton, A. McKee, K. Panageas, N. Gleason, S. Lee, M. Bessler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Many cellular elements responsible for wound healing are affected by laparotomy. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of laparotomy and CO2 pneumoperitoneum on wound healing. Methods: Male Sprague Dawley rats were randomly assigned to one of three experimental groups. Anesthesia control rats underwent no procedure. Pneumoperitoneum group rats were insufflated with CO2 gas. Laparotomy group rats underwent a 7-cm midline laparotomy incision. The interventions were 30 min long. For the incisional study (n = 30), a 4-cm dorsal full-thickness skin incision was made on each rat and then closed with staples. On postoperative days 7 and 14, an equal number of rats were sacrificed from each group, and wound tensile strength measurements were performed. For the excisional study (n = 45), each group of 15 rats underwent a 2-cm diameter circular dorsal fullthickness skin excision. Blinded measurements of wound area were performed every other day until wounds closed. Results: Wound tensile strength values were not significantly different among experimental groups at either time point. The study had a power of 80% to find a 30% difference at POD 7 and a power of 80% to find a 23% difference at POD 14 to a confidence level of p < 0.05. Wound contraction data from the excisional model were analyzed with the Generalized Estimation Equations statistical approach. When we modeled the treatment group as a covariate, no statistical difference was found between groups, demonstrating equal slopes across time. Conclusions: From the results of these studies, we conclude that wound healing in this model is not significantly diminished following laparotomy or peritoneal insufflation, as compared to anesthesia control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1166-1170
Number of pages5
JournalSurgical Endoscopy and Other Interventional Techniques
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Excision
  • Incision
  • Laparoscopy
  • Rat
  • Tensile strength
  • Wound healing


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