Positive outcomes with negative pressure therapy over primarily closed large abdominal wall reconstruction reduces surgical site infection rates

Hernia. 2015 Apr;19(2):273-8. doi: 10.1007/s10029-014-1312-y. Epub 2014 Oct 22.


Purpose: There is a significant morbidity associated with abdominal wall reconstruction (AWR) with a need for overall improvement during the post-operative management. Scientific literature has proven the use of negative pressure therapy (NPT) in wound healing for orthopedic and cardiac surgery with limited data present on its role in AWR. The goal of this study was to examine whether primary wound events were different between patients who had primary closure with NPT versus patients who only had primary closure after AWR.

Methods: This retrospective study examined the rate of post-operative complications in all open-complex AWR that were done in a similar fashion between May 2008 and July 2011 at two large university teaching hospitals. Wound closure was stringent upon attending surgeon preference without randomization.

Results: There were a total of 61 patients who met inclusion criteria with an average age of 54 and 60 % were women. Thirty-two patients had primary closure and 29 patients had primary closure with NPT. The mean length of follow-up was 167 days for both groups. The type of wound closure had an effect on the rate of hernia recurrence and surgical site infections. The application of NPT leads to lower hernia recurrence rate of 25 versus 3% and the type of wound closure had a profound effect on the rate and type of SSI.

Conclusions: The data presented in this study demonstrates a potential advantage for adjunctive NPT in patients undergoing AWR. There is an associated decreased incidence in the overall rate of SSI and hernia recurrence with the use of NPT in those patients undergoing AWR. These results show an advantage for adjunctive NPT.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Wall / surgery*
  • Abdominal Wound Closure Techniques*
  • Female
  • Hernia, Ventral / etiology
  • Hernia, Ventral / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Negative-Pressure Wound Therapy*
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures / methods
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surgical Mesh
  • Surgical Wound Infection / etiology
  • Surgical Wound Infection / prevention & control*
  • Suture Techniques
  • Wound Healing