Optimal management of pancreatic abscess and septic complications of acute pancreatitis remains controversial. With the "open packing" approach, repeated closure of the midline fascia is complicated by loss of tissue integrity and suture strength. An improved zipper closure of the abdominal wall in six patients with pancreatic abscess is presented. Improvements included: (1) using a separating jacket-type zipper to allow maximal intraoperative exposure; (2) employing a removable tuck for expansion of the patch covering the wound; (3) substituting a nonmeshed polytetrafluoroethylene material for the polypropylene mesh to prevent adherence to the underlying viscera; and (4) creating a flap underneath the zipper teeth to protect the underlying tissue from injury. Satisfactory results were achieved with the improved zipper technique.