Adjuvant use of platelet gel for wound breakdown prevention in advanced vulvar cancer surgery: a retrospective study

Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2013 Oct;23(8):1490-4. doi: 10.1097/IGC.0b013e3182a50517.


Objective: The aggressive surgical strategy adopted for vulvar cancer is related to a high complication rate, usually consisting in infections and wound breakdown. Considering that platelet gel concentrate improves reparation of cutaneous lesions, the aim of the current retrospective study was to evaluate the efficacy of platelet gel application in women who had undergone radical surgery for vulvar cancer.

Materials and methods: We retrospectively analyzed record charts of 25 women referred to our academic departments with a diagnosis of vulvar cancer and who had undergone radical vulvectomy plus inguinofemoral lymphadenectomy between January 2007 and December 2011. During the reconstructive phase, a platelet gel was placed on the vaginal breach in 10 women (group A). In the remaining 15 patients, only surgical strategies were performed (group B). Primary outcomes were wound infection, necrosis, and/or breakdown of wounds rates; secondary outcomes were postoperative fever, hospital stay, and lastly, wound healing.

Results: Compared to surgery alone, the platelet gel application was related to a significant decrease in wound infection (P = 0.032), necrosis of vaginal wounds (P = 0.096), and breakdown wound (P = 0.048) rates. In addition, in group A, reduction in postoperative fever rate (P < 0.001) and hospital stay (P < 0.001) were also detected. Compared to surgery alone, a faster wound healing in patients who had undergone surgery plus platelet (P < 0.001) were lastly observed.

Conclusion: In conclusion, platelet gel application before vulvar reconstruction represents an effective strategy to prevent wound breakdown after local advanced vulvar cancer surgery. However, further prospective data are needed to confirm these preliminary results.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymph Node Excision
  • Middle Aged
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surgical Wound Dehiscence / prevention & control*
  • Surgical Wound Infection / prevention & control*
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Wound Healing / drug effects