• abdominal surgery;
  • bacterial contamination;
  • iodophor-impregnated incise drape;
  • wound infection.

A prospective randomized clinical trial comparing the use of a new iodophor-impregnated incise drape with a standard skin preparation technique in 1102 patients undergoing abdominal surgical procedures is reported. The effect of the incise drape on wound bacterial contamination and subsequent wound infections is compared. The iodophor-impregnated plastic incise drape reduced the contamination of the wound. In particular, isolates of normal skin organisms were less frequent when the drape was used in clean and clean contaminated procedures. However, no difference was found between the wound infection rates for the patients on whom the iodophor drape was used and those patients on whom the drape was not used.