Multicentre prospective study of fascial closure rate after open abdomen with vacuum and mesh-mediated fascial traction

Br J Surg. 2011 May;98(5):735-43. doi: 10.1002/bjs.7383. Epub 2011 Jan 14.


Background: Damage control surgery and temporary open abdomen (OA) have been adopted widely, in both trauma and non-trauma situations. Several techniques for temporary abdominal closure have been developed. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the fascial closure rate in patients after vacuum-assisted wound closure and mesh-mediated fascial traction (VAWCM) for long-term OA treatment, and to describe complications.

Methods: This prospective study included all patients who received VAWCM treatment between 2006 and 2009 at four hospitals. Patients with anticipated OA treatment for fewer than 5 days and those with non-midline incisions were excluded.

Results: Among 151 patients treated with an OA, 111 received VAWCM treatment. Median age was 68 years. Median OA treatment time was 14 days. Main disease aetiologies were vascular (45 patients), visceral surgical disease (57) and trauma (9). The fascial closure rate was 76·6 per cent in intention-to-treat analysis and 89 per cent in per-protocol analysis. Eight patients developed an intestinal fistula, of whom seven had intestinal ischaemia. Intestinal fistula was an independent factor associated with failure of fascial closure (odds ratio (OR) 8·55, 95 per cent confidence interval 1·47 to 49·72; P = 0·017). The in-hospital mortality rate was 29·7 per cent. Age (OR 1·21, 1·02 to 1·43; P = 0·027) and failure of fascial closure (OR 44·50, 1·13 to 1748·52; P = 0·043) were independently associated with in-hospital mortality.

Conclusion: The VAWCM method provided a high fascial closure rate after long-term treatment of OA. Technique-related complications were few. No patient was left with a large planned ventral hernia.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen / surgery*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Fasciotomy
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Organ Failure / etiology
  • Negative-Pressure Wound Therapy / methods*
  • Negative-Pressure Wound Therapy / mortality
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surgical Mesh*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wound Healing / physiology
  • Young Adult