Background: Cranial surgical site infection is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in hospitals. Preoperative hair shaving for cranial neurosurgical procedures is performed traditionally in an attempt to protect patients against complications from infections at cranial surgical sites. However, preoperative shaving of surgical incision sites using traditional surgical blades without properly washing the head after surgery can cause infections at surgical sites. Therefore, a rapid protocol in which the scalp remains unshaven and absorbable sutures are used for scalp closure with early postoperative shampooing is examined in this study. Methods: A retrospective comparative study was conducted from January 2008 to December 2012. A total of 2,641 patients who underwent unshaven cranial surgery with absorbable sutures for scalp closure were enrolled in this study. Data of 1,882 patients who underwent surgery with the traditional protocol from January 2005 to December 2007 were also analyzed for comparison. Results: Of 2,641 patients who underwent cranial surgery with the rapid protocol, all but 2 (0.07%) patients experienced satisfactory wound healing. Of 1,882 patients who underwent cranial surgery with the traditional protocol, 3 patients (0.15%) had infections. Each infection occurred at the superficial incisional surgical site. Conclusion: Unshaven cranial surgery using absorbable sutures for scalp closure with early postoperative shampooing is safe and effective in the cranial neurosurgery setting. This protocol has a positive psychological effect. It can help patients accept neurosurgical procedures and improve their self-image after the operation.

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