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Wound healing deficits and subsequent surgical site infections are potential complications after surgical procedures, resulting in increased morbidity and treatment costs. Closed-incision negative-pressure wound therapy (ciNPWT) systems seem to reduce postoperative wound complications by sealing the wound and reducing tensile forces.
Materials and methods
We conducted a collaborative English literature review in the PubMed database including publications from 2009 to 2020 on ciNPWT use in five surgical subspecialities (orthopaedics and trauma, general surgery, plastic surgery, cardiac surgery and vascular surgery). With literature reviews, case reports and expert opinions excluded, the remaining 59 studies were critically summarized and evaluated with regard to their level of evidence.
Of nine studies analysed in orthopaedics and trauma, positive results of ciNPWT were reported in 55.6%. In 11 of 13 (84.6%), 13 of 15 (86.7%) and 10 of 10 (100%) of studies analysed in plastic, vascular and general surgery, respectively, a positive effect of ciNPWT was observed. On the contrary, only 4 of 12 studies from cardiac surgery discovered positive effects of ciNPWT (33.3%).
ciNPWT is a promising treatment modality to improve postoperative wound healing, notably when facing increased tensile forces. To optimise ciNPWT benefits, indications for its use should be based on patient- and procedure-related risk factors.