Purpose: Surgical site infection (SSI) is the most frequently occurring nosocomial infection. Remarkable surgical progress has recently been made in laparoscopic surgery. Therefore, our objective was to investigate the association between increased rates of laparoscopic colon surgery and SSI. Methods: We retrospectively investigated SSI surveillance data from July 2003 to December 2015. Two university hospitals and 25 university-affiliated hospitals participated in prospective SSI surveillance. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to detect significant associations. Results: We investigated 9655 colon surgeries. The year in which surgery was performed was significantly associated with the SSI rate (p = 0.0381). The rate of laparoscopic surgery gradually increased during the study period, and by 2012 it was routinely used for > 50% of colon surgeries. Laparoscopic surgery became a significant factor associated with reduced SSI rates compared with conventional open surgery once the performance rate of laparoscopic surgery reached > 50%. Conclusions: Increasing rates of laparoscopic colon surgery tended to be associated with a reduction in the SSI risk after surgical treatment of colonic disease. The results of this study might encourage surgeons to view laparoscopic surgical techniques as an evidence-based approach for reducing the risk of SSI.
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