Foreign debris in a traumatic wound is a well-known cause of complications. Foreign debris introduced during surgery can be just as much of a problem. Usually the operating room is very clean, but small bits of things can get into the operative field by accident.


Foreign debris introduced into the operative field may include:

(1) talc from gloves (mostly in the past)

(2) lint or wood pulp debris on drapes

(3) debris in the instrument tray

(4) construction dust and debris

(5) room dust

(6) particulate material in lavage solutions or on instruments



(1) adhesions

(2) surgical site infection

(3) thrombosis

(4) impaired wound healing

(5) foreign body granulomas


Some surgical procedures may be at greater risk for complications from microscopic debris:

(1) neurosurgery

(2) cardiac surgery

(3) ophthalmologic surgery

(4) abdominal surgery

(5) microvascular surgery

(6) orthopedic surgery


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