Retrospective evaluation of clinical outcomes in subjects with split-thickness skin graft: comparing V.A.C.® therapy and conventional therapy in foot and ankle reconstructive surgeries

Peter A Blume, Jonathan J Key, Pratapji Thakor, Sejal Thakor, Bauer Sumpio
International Wound Journal 2010, 7 (6): 480-7
This retrospective study compared the clinical outcomes of negative pressure wound therapy with reticulated open cell foam (NPWT/ROCF) as delivered by Vacuum-Assisted Therapy(®) (V.A.C.(®) Therapy, KCI Licensing Inc., San Antonio, TX) to non-NPWT/ROCF conventional therapy (CT) in split-thickness skin graft (STSG) survival in all patients to determine whether NPWT/ROCF affects the outcome of the graft survival, in terms of overall graft take, duration of graft take, repeated grafts and complications. The authors conducted a 10-year retrospective review of 142 patients admitted to a level I trauma centre and treated with an STSG in foot and ankle reconstructive surgeries. Demographic data, wound etiology, dressing type used, time to graft take, NPWT/ROCF duration, complications and outpatient treatments were analysed. There were significantly fewer repeated STSGs required in the NPWT/ROCF group compared to CT [n = 3 (3·5%) versus n = 9 (16%); P = 0·006]. In assessing safety, there were fewer complications in graft failure (seroma, hematoma and infection) in the NPWT/ROCF group as compared to the CT group at 8·9 months (range: 1-12 months). NPWT/ROCF is an excellent alternative for securing an STSG and is associated with improved graft survival as measured by a reduction in the number of repeated STSGs and graft failure complications.

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