Circumferential negative-pressure dressing (VAC) to bolster skin grafts in the reconstruction of the penile shaft and scrotum

Ann Plast Surg. 2005 Feb;54(2):178-83. doi: 10.1097/


This paper presents 4 consecutive cases using negative-pressure dressings (VAC) to bolster skin grafts in male genital reconstruction. In this series reconstruction followed 1 case of tumor ablation and 3 cases of debridement of abscesses or Fornier's gangrene. The VAC was applied circumferentially to the penis to secure skin grafts either directly to the penile shaft or to facilitate skin grafting to the scrotum. Graft areas ranged from 75 to 250 cm. All cases resulted in successful genital wound coverage; minor complications are described. Three practical points are brought forth. First, the VAC facilitates skin grafting to the complex contour of male genitalia. Second, the VAC can be applied circumferentially to the penis without the need for perfusion monitoring or fears of avascular necrosis. Third, with the use of the VAC, bolster use can likely be discontinued as early as 72 hours with good graft adherence and survival.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Bandages*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Penis / blood supply
  • Penis / injuries
  • Penis / surgery*
  • Postoperative Care
  • Scrotum / surgery*
  • Skin Transplantation*
  • Vacuum