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Indian J Plast Surg. 2012 May;45(2):302-15. doi: 10.4103/0970-0358.101304.

Exploiting potency of negative pressure in wound dressing using limited access dressing and suction-assisted dressing.

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  • 1Department of Plastic Surgery and Burns, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University, Karnataka, Manipal, India.


Role of negative pressure dressing and moist wound healing are well established in the treatment of both acute and chronic wounds with certain advantages and disadvantages in both the techniques. Both these techniques prevents wound colonization, but the negative pressure dressing method has proved to have a greater potency to remove secretions, prevent wound invasion and eradication established infection. In both these techniques there is no accessibility to wound environment. Limited access dressing (LAD) is a moist wound dressing with negative pressure. It provides limited access to the wound through two small ports for both dressers and pathogens. The LAD design has notable advantages like wound isolation that reduces chance of wound colonization and safe disposal of infected materials (important factor to reduce hospital-acquired infections), while avoiding some major disadvantages such as opacity of dressing materials, inaccessible offensive smelling wound environment, and relatively high treatment costs. In LAD a definite intermittent negative pressure regimen is followed. The intermittent negative pressure (cycle of 30 minutes suction and 3½ hours rest) is effective. Overall, the LAD is a safe and effective alternative to conventional dressing methods. LAD is an excellent research tool for wound healing as frequent/continuous record of wound healing is possible without disturbing the wound healing process. LAD is an effective dressing for limb salvage in cases of acute and chronic complex wounds. Leech effect prevents wound related systematic response syndrome and sepsis. Suction-assisted dressing (SAD) is a combination of semiocclusive dressing with negative pressure. It works by removal of fluids by intermittent (like LAD) negative pressure and preventing bacterial invasion. SAD is especially advantageous where soakage is less, there is no dead tissue covering the wound (e.g., following skin grafting), superficial skin wounds (e.g., donor area) and also where LAD is technically difficult to apply over circumferential trunk and neck dressings under anesthesia.


Limited access dressing; negative pressure wound therapy; suction-assisted dressing

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