Closed incision prophylactic negative pressure wound therapy in patients undergoing major complex abdominal wall repair

F. E.E. de Vries, J. J. Atema, O. Lapid, M. C. Obdeijn, M. A. Boermeester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Purpose: To evaluate if incisional prophylactic negative pressure wound therapy (pNPWT) reduces wound infections and other wound complications in high-risk patients undergoing major complex ventral abdominal wall repair. Methods: Retrospective before–after comparison nested in a consecutive series of patients undergoing elective major complex abdominal wall repair. Starting January 2014, pNPWT was applied on the closed incisional wound for a minimum of 5 days. To minimize selection bias, we compared two periods of 14 months before and after January 2014. Wound infections according to the Centre for Disease Control Surgical Site Infection classification as well as other wound complications were recorded. Results: Thirty-two patients were included in the pNPWT group and 34 in the control group. The study group involved clean-contaminated and contaminated operations due to enterocutaneous fistula, enterostomies or infected mesh. Median duration of pNPWT was 5 days (IQR 5–7). Overall wound infection rate was 35%. pNPWT was associated with a significant decrease in postoperative wound infection rate (24 versus 51%; p = 0.029, OR 0.30 (95% CI 0.10–0.90)). Incisional wound infection rates dropped from 48 to 7% (p < 0.01, OR 0.08 (95% CI 0.16–0.39), whereas the number of subcutaneous abscesses was comparable in both groups. Moreover, less interventions were needed in the pNPWT group (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Closed incision pNPWT seems a promising solution to reduce the incidence of wound infections in complex abdominal wall surgery. Randomized controlled trials are needed to estimate more precisely the value and cost-effectiveness of pNPWT in this high-risk setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-589
Number of pages7
JournalHernia : the journal of hernias and abdominal wall surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Complex abdominal wall repair
  • Prophylactic negative pressure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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