Prevention, Classification and Management Review of Deep Sternal Wound Infection


  • Khaled E. Al-Ebrahim Department of Surgery, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • Ebrahim K. Al-Ebrahim aculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia



sternotomy, Surgical wound infection, Sternum, mediastinitis


Sternal wound complications are significant problems in cardiac surgery and cause challenges to surgeons as they are associated with high mortality, morbidity, and a tremendous load on the hospital budget. Risk factors and preventive measures against sternal wound infection need to be in focus. Classification of different types of sternotomy complications post cardiac surgery is important for specific categorization and management. Reviewing the literature, a variety of classifications was introduced to help understand the pathophysiology of these wounds and how best to manage them. Initial classifications were based on the postoperative period of the infectious process and risk factors. Recently, the anatomical description of sternal wound, including the depth and location, was shown to be more practical. There is a lack of evidence-based surgical consensus for the appropriate management strategy, including type of closure, choice of sternal coverage post sternectomy, whether primary, delayed and when to use reconstructive flaps.


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How to Cite

alebrahim, khaled, & Al-Ebrahim, E. (2020). Prevention, Classification and Management Review of Deep Sternal Wound Infection. The Heart Surgery Forum, 23(5), E652-E657.