Surgical Wound Classification - Clean

Wound Class

Clean Classification Criteria


Class I / Clean


(Note:  A surgical wound classification should be assigned upon completion of an operation.)

(Note:  Class I represents about 75% of all wounds.  Clean wounds are usually elective surgical incisions. Clean wounds have an expected infection rate of 1% - 3%.)

  • Operative site is uninfected

  • No inflammation

  • No break in sterile technique

  • Primarily closed and, if necessary, drained with closed drainage

  • Respiratory, gastrointestinal and genitor-urinary tracts are not entered

  • Surgical wounds made after non-penetrating blunt trauma, if the above criteria are met

Examples of Clean Procedures (This list does not include all possible examples):

  • Vascular Procedures

  • Neurological Procedures (Unless: inflamed = Class II, infected = Class III)

  • Endocrine Procedure

  • Orthopedic Procedures (Unless: trauma = Class III, old wound = Class IV)

  • Skin, e.g., Mastectomy, lumpectomy, lesions, lipoma (Unless: old wound = Class III, inflamed = Class III, infected = Class IV)

  • Exploratory lap (Unless: Bowel involvement = Class II)

  • Caesarean Section, elective, no pre-rupture of membranes or trial of labor




Additional  Examples of Clean Surgical Wounds/Procedures (This list does not include all possible examples):

  • Embolectomy

  • Herniorrhaphy (All types)

  • Laminectomy

  • Mastectomy (Radical or Simple)

  • Orthopedic Reconstruction Procedures (Hip Nailing, Total Hip or Knee Replacement, Meniscectomy, Bunionectomy, Bone Graft)

  • Radical Neck (Outside Incision)

  • Resection of Ovary

  • Salpingo-oophorectomy

  • Splenectomy

  • Thyroidectomy

  • Vascular Surgeries (All Types, including Coronary Artery Bypass Graft)


June 2011

This document has been classified as public information.