Topical negative pressure in wound management

A. K. Deva*, G. H. Buckland, E. Fisher, S. C C Liew, S. Merten, M. McGlynn, M. P. Gianoutsos, M. A R Baldwin, P. G. Lendvay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To investigate the role of topical negative pressure (TNP) therapy in the management of difficult wounds. Design: Prospective consecutive patient series. Patients and setting: 30 patients referred to our tertiary plastic and reconstructive surgical service with wounds deemed unsuitable for reconstructive surgery were treated between November 1997 and the end of December 1998. The mean pretreatment duration of the wounds was 418 days (range, 8-1650 days). All wounds were at least Grade III pressure sores. Intervention: Topical negative presssure therapy (TNP) using the VAC device (KCl Medical, San Antonio, USA). Suction (75-125 mmHg) was continuous for the first 48 hours, then intermittent (2 min on, 5 min off). Main outcome measures: Achievement of wound healing endpoints: (1) complete healing of the wound; (2) obliteration of the wound cavity to allow surface dressings; or (3) closure of the wound by suture or skin graft. Results: TNP was successful in 26 out of 30 patients with mean therapy time of 35 days (range, 3-124 days). Healing was more rapid in acute (less than six weeks old) wounds. A reduction in the number of bacterial species and colonies was also observed during therapy. Conclusion: TNP can, in some circumstances, promote rapid secondary wound healing. A further randomised trial of TNP versus more traditional wound management modalities is justified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-131
Number of pages4
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2000


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