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Surgery. 2010 Nov;148(5):947-53. doi: 10.1016/j.surg.2010.01.021. Epub 2010 Mar 15.

Vacuum-assisted closure in severe abdominal sepsis with or without retention sutured sequential fascial closure: a clinical trial.

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  • 13rd Department of Surgery, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece.



Multiple techniques have been introduced to obtain fascial closure for the open abdomen to minimize morbidity and cost of care. We hypothesized that a modification of the vacuum-assisted closure (VAC) technique that provides constant fascial tension and prevents abdominis rectis retraction would facilitate primary fascial closure and reduce morbidity.


In all, 53 patients with severe abdominal sepsis were allocated randomly into 2 groups, and 30 patients were analyzed. In the VAC group, we included patients managed only with the VAC device, whereas the retentions sutured sequential fascial closure (RSSFC) group included patients to whom RSSFC was performed.


The abdomen was left open for 12 days (P = .0001) with 4.4 ± 1.35 changes per patient for the VAC group (P = .001) and 8 days with 2.87 ± 0.74 dressing changes per patient for the RSSFC group, respectively. Abdominal closure was possible in only 6 patients in the VAC group, whereas for the RSSFC group, abdominal closure was achieved in 14 patients (P = .005). Planned hernia was exclusively decided in patients in the VAC group (P = .001). The hospital stay was 17.53 ± 4.59 days for the VAC group and 11.93 ± 2.05 days for the RSSFC group (P = .0001). The median initial intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) was 12 mm Hg for the VAC group and 16 mm Hg for the RSSFC group (P < .0001).


We demonstrated the superiority of RSSFC compared with the single use of the VAC device. In our opinion, sequential fascial closure can immediately begin when abdominal sepsis is controlled.

Copyright © 2010 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

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