Don’t perform preoperative hair removal with a razor blade in anticipation of surgery (AICO).

Type of practice

Other health practices

Topic Area


Hairs and hair can be a source of infection and hinder the full display of the surgery area and interfere subsequently with the disinfection of the wound. The latest scientific evidence supports in favour of shaving in cases when hairs in the incision area may interfere with the surgical procedure. Prospective randomized trials suggest that the use of an electric razor (clipper) causes fewer infections than a razor blade because the latter is associated with minor skin injury. Despite limited evidence on the timing of execution of the procedure, if you were to perform trichotomy, this should be done on the same day of the operation.


1. Jose B, Dignon A: Is there a relationship between preoperative shaving (hair removal) and surgical site infection? J Perioper Pract. 2013 Jan-Feb;23(1-2):22-5. Review.
2. Tanner J, Norrie P, Melen K: Preoperative hair removal to reduce surgical site infection. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011 Nov 9;(11):CD004122. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD004122.pub4. Review.
3. Kjonniksen I, Andersen BM, Sondeena YG, Segadal L: Preoperative haire removal-a systematic literature review. AORN j. 2002 May;75(5):928-38,940.

Attention. Please note that these items are provided only for information and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a clinician. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their clinician.