Since the 1990's, negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) has been used to treat soft tissue defects, burn wounds, and to achieve skin graft fixation. In the field of abdominal surgery, the application of NPWT is increasing in cases with an open abdominal wound requiring temporary wound closure and a second look operation. In the present study, the authors analyzed patients that underwent NPWT for postoperative wound dehiscence.
The computerized records of patients that had undergone an abdominal operation from November 2009 to May 2012 were retrospectively analyzed.
The number of total enrolled patients was 50, and 30 patients (60%) underwent an emergency operation. Diagnoses were as follows: panperitonitis or intra-abdominal abscess (24 cases, 48%), intestinal obstruction (10 cases, 20%), cancer (7 cases, 14%), mesentery ischemia (3 cases, 6%), and hemoperitoneum (1 case, 2%). NPWT was applied at a mean of 12.9 ± 8.2 days after surgery and mean NPWT duration was 17.9 days (2 to 96 days). The 11 patients (22%) with unsuccessful wound closure had a deeper and more complex wound than the other 39 patients (78%) (90.9% vs. 38.5%, P = 0.005). There were two complication cases (4%) due to delayed wound healing.
Most patients recovered well due to granulation formation and suturing. NPWT was found to be convenient and safe, but a prospective comparative study is needed to confirm the usefulness of NPWT in patients whose wounds are dehisced.