Reviewing the benefits and harm of NPWT in the management of closed surgical incisions.

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Author Information

  1. Wound Care Specialist, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.


The use of negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) for the treatment of open traumatic, non-traumatic, chronic wounds and coverage over skin grafts has increased in popularity over the past decade.

Although the exact mechanism of the action of NPWT on wound healing is still an active area of research, evidence propose it is achieved by removing oedema, increasing blood circulation, reducing bacterial bio-burden, providing a moist wound-healing environment, and increasing granulation tissue formation.

In recent years, there has been an emerging body of literature describing a novel application of NPWT on closed surgical wounds, especially on closed orthopaedic incisional (COI) wounds. It has been suggested that applying NPWT to a COI may decrease the incidence of surgical wound-healing complications, such as hematoma, seroma, infection, or dehiscence, and hasten the healing of the incision.

This review will evaluate the potential effect on the reduction of postoperative closed wound complications and examine the benefits and harm of NPWT in the management of COI.

British Journal of Community Nursing
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