Despite numerous advances, chronic and other difficult-to-man-age wounds continue to be a treatment challenge. Presented is a new subatmospheric pressure technique: vacuum-assisted closure (The V.A.C.). The V.A.C. technique entails placing an open-cell foam dressing into the wound cavity and applying a controlled subatmospheric pressure (125 mmHg below ambient pressure). Three hundred wounds were treated: 175 chronic wounds, 94 subacute wounds, and 31 acute wounds. Two hundred ninety-six wounds responded favorably to subatmospheric pressure treatment, with an increased rate of granulation tissue formation. Wounds were treated until completely closed, were covered with a split-thickness skin graft, or a flap was rotated into the healthy, granulating wound bed. The technique removes chronic edema, leading to increased localized blood flow, and the applied forces result in the enhanced formation of granulation tissue. Vacuum-assisted closure is an extremely efficacious modality for treating chronic and difficult wounds.