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Dan Med J. 2013 Nov;60(11):A4719.

Vacuum with mesh is a feasible temporary closure device after fascial dehiscence.

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Kirurgisk Afdeling, Slagelse Sygehus, lngemannsvej 18, 4200 Slagelse, Denmark.



The open abdomen is a challenging condition and a temporary abdominal closure device is required in order to protect the intra-abdominal viscera. We aimed to evaluate the feasibility of a recent device: vacuum-assisted wound closure and mesh-mediated fascial traction (VAWCM) after fascial dehiscence focusing on fascial closure rate, mortality and procedure-related complications.


We performed a retrospective study on 18 patients treated with VAWCM after fascial dehiscence who were consecutively admitted to the Department of Surgery, Slagelse Hospital, between October 2008 and October 2012.


The 18 patients had a median age of 64 (29-90) years. 80% (12/15) obtained delayed primary abdominal closure. The in-hospital mortality was 17% (3/18). The median treatment period with VAWCM and vacuum-assisted wound closure were 18 (7-34) and 21 (7-53) days, respectively, with a median of six (1-11) tightenings. One patient developed an intra-abdominal abscess. Three patients survived until discharge without having obtained delayed primary closure. In two of these patients, the fascial edges were adapted with a prosthetic mesh and one patient was left with a planned ventral hernia. We performed a retrospective follow-up with a median duration of 21 months 21% developed an incisional hernia. Two patients died within 60 days after closure of the abdomen.


We found and that VAWCM is a safe and useful technique for delayed primary closure of the open abdomen after fascial dehiscence. We stress the need for more studies on temporary abdominal closure devices in selected groups of patients.


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