Complications associated with postoperative dressings: a clinician’s perspective

Penney Upton, Ann Marie Dunk, Dominic Upton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Medical adhesive-related skin injuries (MARSI) are a relatively new category of skin trauma recognised to occur in postoperative settings. Protecting against MARSI is important since they may impact negatively on patient outcomes and significantly add to the cost of treatment. Despite this, evidence to guide best practice in postoperative wound care dressings is limited. In this study we therefore aim to quantify clinicians’ perceptions of the frequency and severity of postoperative MARSI.

Method Australian clinicians with experience of working with postoperative wounds in the past 12 months completed an anonymous online questionnaire.

Results Over a quarter (27%) of patients with postoperative wounds were estimated to have experienced a MARSI over the past 12 months. Complications were least likely to be associated with silicone adhesives and were most frequently associated with polyurethanes and acrylates. The most frequent complication observed was pain.

Conclusion Whilst it is reassuring that complications are less likely to be associated with silicone, a commonly used dressing adhesive, it is of concern that two other frequently used adhesives – acrylates and polyurethanes – have the highest association of complications. Shifting to using more silicone adhesives could reduce the economic burden of postoperative complications and improve patient outcomes by reducing MARSI-associated pain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-163
Number of pages6
JournalWound Practice and Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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