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Wounds. 2017 Aug;29(8):E55-E60.

Negative Pressure Wound Therapy for a Giant Wound Secondary to Malignancy-induced Necrotizing Fasciitis: Case Report and Review of the Literature.

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Division of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
Faculty of Medicine, Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University.



Necrotizing fasciitis (NF) is a life-threatening condition in which rapid diagnosis, debridement of nonviable tissue, and broad-spectrum antibiotics are critical to effective treatment. The debridement required can be extensive, resulting in large wounds that can sometimes be covered with split-thickness skin grafts (STSGs) with the help of negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT), or vacuum-assisted closure, to decrease the wound size.


The authors report a rare case of NF due to malignancy-associated bowel perforation with a giant lower extremity wound secondary to debridement that involved 20% of the total body surface area (TBSA) in a 64-year-old, previously healthy, nonsmoking man. The wound was surgically debrided twice and packed before NPWT was applied. Based on the authors' literature search, this case is 1 of the single largest wounds successfully managed with a STSG and NPWT.


Rapid diagnosis of NF is critical to guide surgical management and administration of antibiotics. It is important to be mindful of the origin of certain necrotizing infections, and clinicians should have a greater index of suspicion for NF when assessing skin infections in unwell patients with concomitant bowel perforation secondary to gastrointestinal malignancy.

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