Background: The incidence of obesity is on the rise in the United States and worldwide. Complications following panniculectomy are higher for super obese patients, often requiring readmission and additional interventions. In this study, the authors compare the outcomes of patients who underwent primary closure of their resection wounds to the outcomes of patients who underwent initial open wound management with a negative-pressure dressing.
Methods: The records of all patients who underwent panniculectomy between 2007 and 2012 were reviewed. Of 14 patients with a body mass index greater than 50, nine underwent primary closure and five were treated with open wound management. A retrospective chart review was performed.
Results: There were no statistically significant differences in age or preoperative comorbidities, but body mass index was higher for the open wound management group (66.4 versus 58.9, p = 0.039). There were no statistically significant differences in mean operative time, resection weight, estimated blood loss, or hospital length of stay. The primary closure group had a 44 percent readmission rate and a 33 percent reoperation rate for wound complications. The open wound management group had no wound-related readmissions or secondary procedures for débridement.
Conclusions: Open wound management in the massive panniculectomy patient reduces hospital readmission and secondary operations. This case series provides reasons to support the consideration of open wound management following massive panniculectomy in the super morbidly obese patient population.
CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic, III.