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Review: evidence from ⩽2 low quality studies suggests no difference in surgical site infection with or without preoperative hair removal; depilatory cream and clipping are better than shaving

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 Q Does preoperative hair removal result in fewer surgical site infections (SSIs) than not removing hair? What is the relative effectiveness of different methods of hair removal?

METHODS

Embedded ImageData sources:

Cochrane Wounds Group Specialised Register (to October 2005), Cochrane Library (Issue 3, 2005), Medline (1966–2005), EMBASE/Excerpta Medica (1980–2005), CINAHL (1982–2005), and ZETOC database of conference proceedings (1993–2005); bibliographies of relevant studies; and manufacturers of hair removal products.

Embedded ImageStudy selection and assessment:

randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of adults having surgery in a designated operating theatre that compared hair removal by any method (shaving, clipping, or depilatory cream) with no hair removal or with another hair removal method; hair removal at different times before surgery; or hair removal in different settings (eg, operating room, anaesthetic room, ward, or home). Quality assessment of individual studies was based on randomisation method, allocation concealment, blinding, withdrawals and drop out rates, clear …

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