V.A.C.® Abdominal Dressing System : A Temporary Closure for Open Abdomen

Labler, Ludwig ; Zwingmann, Jörn ; Mayer, Dieter ; Stocker, Reto ; Trentz, Otmar ; Keel, Marius

In: European Journal of Trauma, 2005, vol. 31, no. 5, p. 488-494

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    Background and Purpose:: The study reports experience with the recently commercially available V.A.C.® Abdominal Dressing System, a system designed for a temporary closure of an open abdomen situation under negative pressure. The method allows a late primary fascial closure after laparotomy in case of damage control, abdominal compartment syndrome or severe intra-abdominal spesis and facilitates delayed reconstruction of a large ventral hernia. Patients and Methods:: 18 patients with an open abdomen after laparotomy were managed between February 2002 and September 2004. Results:: Twelve patients after primary, one patient after secondary fascial closure and one patient with partially primary closure and resorbable mesh for abdominal wall reconstruction were free of wound infection or dehiscence of the abdominal wall. Evisceration or enteric fistulas were not observed. Five patients died in consequence of severe injury, a multiple organ failure or septic complications. Conclusion:: V.A.C.® Abdominal Dressing System is an effective temporary closure technique for open abdomen in critically ill patients which makes a late primary fascial closure up to 2 months after initial laparotomy possible either in trauma patients or in case of severe intraabdominal infection. The technique is simple and easily mastered