What is the role of incisional vacuum therapy in challenging spinal wounds? A single centre experience

J Wound Care. 2021 Jun 2;30(6):476-481. doi: 10.12968/jowc.2021.30.6.476.


Objective: A surgical approach to the treatment of spinal defects and disorders has become more common because of the medical and technological advancements achieved in the last decade. This rising trend in spinal surgeries is associated with adverse events, most notably wound complications. From its introduction, negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) has proved to be essential in the management of complex wounds and in speeding up wound recovery. The aim of this study is to investigate the use of incisional NPWT in patients undergoing spinal surgery and its role in the prevention of wound complications.

Method: This study is a retrospective medical chart review conducted on patients who underwent spinal surgery and received incisional vacuum therapy as part of their treatment. The apparatus was applied intraoperatively following the spinal surgery for all patients included in this study. All surgical procedures were conducted between September 2019 and May 2020. Data entry and analysis were performed between September and October 2020.

Results: A total of five patients' records were reviewed. In our healthcare centre, three patients developed seroma, one developed haematoma, four required revision surgery and one patient required re-operation. There was no wound dehiscence and none of the wounds became infected. Mean length of hospital stay was 11.2 days (standard deviation (SD): 9.5 days) and mean operation time was 333 minutes (SD: 86.4 minutes).

Conclusion: There is a scarcity of data on the role of incisional vacuum therapy in the prevention of wound complications associated with spine surgeries. Our study showed promising results for the use of incisional NPWT in the management of spinal wounds. Further research is required in order to enhance wound care by exploiting this potentially beneficial approach.

Keywords: diabetes; dressing; incisional vacuum therapy; infection; negative pressure wound therapy; spinal surgery; spine; wound; wound complications; wound healing.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Hematoma
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Negative-Pressure Wound Therapy*
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Seroma
  • Spine / surgery*
  • Surgical Wound Dehiscence
  • Surgical Wound Infection / prevention & control
  • Surgical Wound Infection / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wound Healing*