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Eplasty. 2011 Mar 16;11:e14.

Assessment of gauze-based negative pressure wound therapy in the split-thickness skin graft clinical pathway-an observational study.



Negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) is a useful therapy in the preparation of wounds prior to application of a split-thickness skin graft (STSG) both "pregraft" and "postgraft" on top of the STSG. Customarily, a foam-based NPWT has been used, but gauze-based therapy is finding an increasing use. Gauze is easy to apply and forgiving of complicated wound geometries so it can be an ideal material in this indication. The aim of this study was to quantitatively assess the clinical efficacy of gauze-based NPWT as an adjunctive therapy to STSG procedures.


A prospective, noncomparative, multicenter evaluation was carried out to assess the performance of gauze-based NPWT. Twenty-one patients had NPWT applied prior to definitive closure by STSG or flap techniques (pregraft group). A further 21 patients underwent an STSG procedure and had gauze-based NPWT placed immediately on top of the STSG (postgraft group). Negative pressure was applied at -80 mm Hg.


In the pregraft group, NPWT was used for a median of 12 days. Improvement in quality of wound bed with decreased nonviable tissue (from 20% to 0% median wound area) and increased granulation tissue (from 20% to 90% median wound area) was observed. In the postgraft group, median duration of therapy was 5 days at which point median percentage skin graft-take was 96%.


Gauze-based NPWT appears to be an effective addition to the care and management of wounds intended for definitive closure by STSG.


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