Obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) accounts for at least half of all open abdominal surgeries performed. Rates of surgical wound complications after open procedures in OB/GYN range from 5% to 35%. Therefore, optimizing management of surgical wound complications has the potential to significantly reduce cost and morbidity. However, guidelines addressing best practices for wound care in OB/GYN are limited. The objectives of this review are to describe the fundamentals of wound healing and to evaluate available evidence addressing surgical wound care. Based on these data, we provide recommendations for management of extrafascial surgical wound dehiscence after OB/GYN procedures. Literature search was performed in PubMed, Medline, OVID, and the Cochrane database. Relevant guidelines, systematic reviews, and original research articles investigating mechanisms of wound healing, types of wound closure, and management of surgical wound complications were reviewed. Surgical wound complications in OB/GYN are associated with significant cost and morbidity. One of the most common complications is extrafascial dehiscence, which may occur in the setting of hematomas, seromas, or infection. Management includes early debridement and treatment of any underlying infection until healthy granulation tissue is present. For wounds healing by secondary intention, advanced moisture retentive dressings reduce time to healing and are cost-effective when compared with conventional wet-to-dry gauze dressings. Negative pressure wound therapy can be applied to deeper wounds healing by secondary intention. Review of published evidence also supports the use of delayed reclosure to expedite wound healing for select patients. Optimizing surgical wound care has the potential to reduce the cost and morbidity associated with surgical wound complications in OB/GYN. Advanced moisture retentive dressings should be considered for wounds healing by secondary intention. Data support delayed reclosure for select patients, although further studies are needed.

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