Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of skullbasesurgInstructions for AuthorsSubscribe to Skull BaseAbout Skull BaseEditorial BoardThieme Medical PublishingSkull Base An Interdisciplinary Approach ...
Skull base surgery. 1999; 9(4): 253–258.
PMCID: PMC1656773

Shaveless Brain Surgery

Safe, Well Tolerated, and Cost Effective


Neurosurgeons perform operations every day, many of which involve the scalp. There is evidence supporting similar or decreased wound infection rates in the unshaven scalp. Patients with standard scalp incisions were assigned to either shave or shaveless preparations (n = 20). The timing of preparation and skin closure was recorded for both groups as were infectious complications. All of the patients have been followed for an average of 10 months. There were no cases of infection. The timing of scalp preparation and closure was not significantly different between the two groups (P < .05). We have previously suggested that shaving the scalp is not a critical step in the prevention of infection. We confirm that the timing of this technique is not prolonged over that of standard preparations.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (3.3M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Winston KR. Hair and neurosurgery. Neurosurgery. 1992 Aug;31(2):320–329. [PubMed]
  • Savitz MH, Katz SS. Prevention of primary wound infection in neurosurgical patients: a 10-year study. Neurosurgery. 1986 Jun;18(6):685–688. [PubMed]
  • Haines SJ, Walters BC. Antibiotic prophylaxis for cerebrospinal fluid shunts: a metanalysis. Neurosurgery. 1994 Jan;34(1):87–92. [PubMed]
  • Classen DC, Evans RS, Pestotnik SL, Horn SD, Menlove RL, Burke JP. The timing of prophylactic administration of antibiotics and the risk of surgical-wound infection. N Engl J Med. 1992 Jan 30;326(5):281–286. [PubMed]
  • Leclair JM, Winston KR, Sullivan BF, O'Connell JM, Harrington SM, Goldmann DA. Effect of preoperative shampoos with chlorhexidine or iodophor on emergence of resident scalp flora in neurosurgery. Infect Control. 1988 Jan;9(1):8–12. [PubMed]
  • Garibaldi RA. Prevention of intraoperative wound contamination with chlorhexidine shower and scrub. J Hosp Infect. 1988 Apr;11 (Suppl B):5–9. [PubMed]
  • Ko W, Lazenby WD, Zelano JA, Isom OW, Krieger KH. Effects of shaving methods and intraoperative irrigation on suppurative mediastinitis after bypass operations. Ann Thorac Surg. 1992 Feb;53(2):301–305. [PubMed]
  • Horgan MA, Piatt JH., Jr Shaving of the scalp may increase the rate of infection in CSF shunt surgery. Pediatr Neurosurg. 1997 Apr;26(4):180–184. [PubMed]
  • Alexander JW, Fischer JE, Boyajian M, Palmquist J, Morris MJ. The influence of hair-removal methods on wound infections. Arch Surg. 1983 Mar;118(3):347–352. [PubMed]
  • Balthazar ER, Colt JD, Nichols RL. Preoperative hair removal: a random prospective study of shaving versus clipping. South Med J. 1982 Jul;75(7):799–801. [PubMed]
  • Olson MM, MacCallum J, McQuarrie DG. Preoperative hair removal with clippers does not increase infection rate in clean surgical wounds. Surg Gynecol Obstet. 1986 Feb;162(2):181–182. [PubMed]
  • Mehta G, Prakash B, Karmoker S. Computer assisted analysis of wound infection in neurosurgery. J Hosp Infect. 1988 Apr;11(3):244–252. [PubMed]
  • McIntyre FJ, McCloy R. Shaving patients before operation: a dangerous myth? Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 1994 Jan;76(1):3–4. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Habal MB. To shave or not to shave. J Craniofac Surg. 1992 Dec;3(4):185–186. [PubMed]
  • Howell JM, Morgan JA. Scalp laceration repair without prior hair removal. Am J Emerg Med. 1988 Jan;6(1):7–10. [PubMed]
  • Seropian R, Reynolds BM. Wound infections after preoperative depilatory versus razor preparation. Am J Surg. 1971 Mar;121(3):251–254. [PubMed]
  • Cruse PJ, Foord R. A five-year prospective study of 23,649 surgical wounds. Arch Surg. 1973 Aug;107(2):206–210. [PubMed]

Articles from Skull Base Surgery are provided here courtesy of Thieme Medical Publishers