Vacuum-assisted closure (VAC) therapy is a valid wound healing modality for full-thickness wounds, according to the results of a randomized clinical trial comparing the efficacy of VAC with conventional moist gauze therapy during the period between debridement and surgical closure, reported in the Journal of Reconstructive Aesthetic Surgery.
Fifty-four patients were studied (vacuum, n = 29; conventional, n = 25). Efficacy was assessed by semi-quantitative wound condition scoring (signs of exudate, fibrinous slough, rubor, and calor) and wound surface area measurements. Bacterial load was determined by tissue biopsy. The duration of time it took the patient to be ready for surgery and any complications pre- and postoperatively were also recorded.
Results showed that VAC therapy produced a faster wound surface area reduction, healthier wound conditions, and a shorter duration of therapy needed (most prominent in late-treated wounds). These results were obtained without a decrease in the number of colonizing bacteria. Reported complications were minor, with the exception of 1 case of septicemia and 1 case of increased tissue necrosis.
Source: Moues CM, van den Bemd GJ, Heule F, Hovius SE. Comparing conventional gauze therapy to vacuum-assisted closure wound therapy: A prospective randomized trial. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg 2007;60:672-81.