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01.05.2009 | Ausgabe 5/2009

World Journal of Surgery 5/2009

Vacuum-Assisted Closure of Postoperative Abdominal Wounds: A Prospective Study

World Journal of Surgery > Ausgabe 5/2009
Sriram Subramonia, Sarah Pankhurst, Brian J. Rowlands, Dileep N. Lobo
Wichtige Hinweise
Presented at the International Surgical Congress of the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland, Bournemouth, May 2008; published in abstract form [Br J Surg 2008; 95(S3):135].



We aimed to study outcome in patients with an open abdomen in whom the abdominal vacuum-assisted closure system (V.A.C.® Therapy) was used to provide temporary cover and achieve wound closure.


All patients in whom V.A.C. Therapy was used to manage laparotomy wounds between February 2006 and May 2007 at a University Teaching Hospital were followed up prospectively until successful completion or stoppage of V.A.C. Therapy.


Of the 51 consecutive patients (33 male), V.A.C. Therapy was used to manage a laparostomy in 10 patients and abdominal wound dehiscence in 41. Median (IQR) duration of V.A.C. Therapy was 17 (7–26) days. Wound healing was achieved in 31 (61%) patients, four of whom had additional surgery to assist wound closure. The rest healed by secondary intention. Treatment was withdrawn due to therapy-related complications in nine patients and due to medical or logistical reasons in seven. Four patients died while on therapy. While most V.A.C. Therapy-related problems were minor, two patients developed enteric fistulae that necessitated surgical repair. At a median (IQR) follow-up of 8 (4–13) months, 18 patients had stable cutaneous coverage with no incisional hernia, 12 developed an incisional hernia, 9 were lost to follow-up, and 12 died.


V.A.C. Therapy is a useful adjunct in the management of the open abdomen and should be considered in the treatment of this problem. Restoration of cutaneous and fascial integrity of the abdominal wall, the risk of fistulisation, and the cost-effectiveness of this therapy require further evaluation.

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