This retrospective study compared the clinical outcomes of negative pressure wound therapy with reticulated open cell foam (NPWT/ROCF) as delivered by Vacuum-Assisted Therapy® (V.A.C.® Therapy, KCI Licensing Inc., San Antonio, TX) to non-NPWT/ROCF conventional therapy (CT) in split-thickness skin graft (STSG) survival in all patients to determine whether NPWT/ROCF affects the outcome of the graft survival, in terms of overall graft take, duration of graft take, repeated grafts and complications.
The authors conducted a 10-year retrospective review of 142 patients admitted to a level I trauma centre and treated with an STSG in foot and ankle reconstructive surgeries. Demographic data, wound etiology, dressing type used, time to graft take, NPWT/ROCF duration, complications and outpatient treatments were analysed. There were significantly fewer repeated STSGs required in the NPWT/ROCF group compared to CT [n = 3 (3·5%) versus n = 9 (16%); P = 0·006]. In assessing safety, there were fewer complications in graft failure (seroma, hematoma and infection) in the NPWT/ROCF group as compared to the CT group at 8·9 months (range: 1–12 months). NPWT/ROCF is an excellent alternative for securing an STSG and is associated with improved graft survival as measured by a reduction in the number of repeated STSGs and graft failure complications.