VAC (Vacuum Assisted Closure) treatment in Fournier's gangrene: personal experience and literature review

Clin Ter. 2011;162(1):e1-5.


Introduction: Fournier's gangrene (FG) is a rapidly developing necrotizing fasciitis that originates in genital and perineal region. The mortality rate is high and requires prompt diagnosis, antibiotic treatment and extensive necrosectomy with derivative colostomy. Vacuum Assisted Closure (VAC) is a wound care system of paramount importance in the treatment of complex wounds, including the perineum.

Materials and methods: We evaluated 6 cases of FG (males, mean age: 54.6 yrs) of the last 3 years (February 2008-August 2010). All patients were diabetics. We used intravenous antibiotic treatment and early surgical debridement with colostomy, followed by immediate positioning of a VAC device (NP 125-200 mmHg). The dressing changes were done every 3-4 days. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) was given only to one patient. Microbiological etiology was assessed by multiple cultures to tailor the antimicrobial treatment.

Results: The VAC therapy reduces the number of dressings and the hospital length of stay (LOS), in agreement with the literature; in one of the cases a secondary reconstructive surgical intervention was possible. The colostomy was reversed in all patients within 3 months.

Conclusions: Negative pressure is a time saving device, reducing days of hospitalization, patient's discomfort and number of medications. The possibility of a early reconstructive surgery improves significantly quality of life.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Colostomy
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Debridement
  • Diabetes Complications / surgery
  • Fournier Gangrene / diagnostic imaging
  • Fournier Gangrene / drug therapy
  • Fournier Gangrene / surgery*
  • Fournier Gangrene / therapy
  • Humans
  • Hyperbaric Oxygenation
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Negative-Pressure Wound Therapy*
  • Obesity / complications
  • Paraplegia / complications
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents