The use of silver nylon in preventing surgical site infections following colon and rectal surgery

Beth R. Krieger, Donald M. Davis, Jaime E. Sanchez, James J L Mateka, Valentine N Nfonsam, Jared C. Frattini, Jorge E. Marcet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Patients who undergo colorectal surgery have up to a 30% chance of developing a surgical site infection postoperatively. Silverlon is a silver nylon dressing designed to prevent surgical site infections, but only anecdotal evidence has previously supported its efficacy. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of silver nylon dressings in patients undergoing colorectal surgery. DESIGN: We performed a prospective, randomized, controlled trial comparing a silver nylon dressing with gauze dressings in patients undergoing elective colorectal surgery. SETTING: The study was performed at a university-based, tertiary referral center. PATIENTS: We studied patients undergoing elective colorectal surgery with an abdominal skin incision of at least 3 cm. INTERVENTION: Patients were randomly assigned to receive either a silver nylon or a gauze dressing. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary end point was surgical site infection occurring within 30 days of surgery. RESULTS: One hundred ten patients were enrolled in the study and were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 treatment groups. After a 30-day follow-up period, the incidence of surgical site infection was lower in the silver nylon group compared with the control group (13% vs 33%, P = .011). Twenty-five patients in the study developed superficial surgical site infections, 5 in the silver nylon group and 14 in the control group (P = .021). Two patients in the study group developed deep wound infections compared with 4 in the control group (P = .438). Multivariate analysis revealed that patients in the control group had a 3-fold increase in risk of infection compared with patients in the silver nylon group (P = .013). LIMITATIONS: A limitation of this study is that the members of the surgical team were not blinded to the treatment groups. CONCLUSION: Silver nylon is safe and effective in preventing surgical site infection following colorectal surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1014-1019
Number of pages6
JournalDiseases of the Colon and Rectum
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes



  • Colon and rectal surgery
  • Silver
  • Surgical site infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

Cite this

Krieger, B. R., Davis, D. M., Sanchez, J. E., Mateka, J. J. L., Nfonsam, V. N., Frattini, J. C., & Marcet, J. E. (2011). The use of silver nylon in preventing surgical site infections following colon and rectal surgery. Diseases of the Colon and Rectum, 54(8), 1014-1019.