Perioperative oral care can prevent surgical site infection after colorectal cancer surgery: A multicenter, retrospective study of 1,926 cases analyzed by propensity score matching

Published:April 06, 2022DOI:



      Surgical site infection is a common postoperative complication of colorectal cancer surgery, and surgical site infection increases medical costs, prolongs hospitalization, and worsens long-term prognosis. Perioperative oral care has been reported to be effective in preventing postoperative pneumonia, although there are only a few reports on its effectiveness in preventing surgical site infection. This study aimed to determine the role of perioperative oral care in surgical site infection prevention after colorectal cancer surgery.


      In this study, 1,926 patients with colorectal cancer from 8 institutions were enrolled; 808 patients (oral care group) received perioperative oral care at the hospital’s dental clinic, and 1,118 (control group) did not receive perioperative oral care. The data were matched by propensity score to reduce bias. Ultimately, a total of 1,480 patients were included in the analysis.


      The incidence of surgical site infection was significantly lower in the oral care group than in the control group (8.4% vs 15.7%, P < .001). Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed 4 independent risk factors for surgical site infection: low albumin level, rectal cancer, blood loss, and lack of perioperative oral care. Lack of perioperative oral care had an odds ratio of 2.100 (95% confidence interval 1.510–2.930, P < .001).


      These results suggest that perioperative oral care can reduce the incidence of surgical site infection after colorectal cancer resection. Perioperative oral care may have an important role in the future perioperative management of colorectal cancer as a safe and effective method of surgical site infection prevention, although further validation in prospective studies is needed.
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