This study reviews the efficacy of vacuum-assisted wound closure
(VAWC) to obtain primary fascial closure
of open abdomens after severe trauma.
The study population included shock resuscitation patients who had open abdomens treated with VAWC. The VAWC dressing was changed at 2- to 3-day intervals and downsized as fascial closure
was completed with interrupted suture. The Trauma Research Database and the medical records were reviewed for pertinent data.
Over 26 months, 35 patients with open abdomens were managed by VAWC. Six died early, leaving 29 patients who were discharged. Of these, 25 (86%) were successfully closed using VAWC at a mean of 7 ± 1 days (range, 3–18 days). Of the four patients that failed VAWC, two developed fistulas. No patients developed evisceration, intra-abdominal abscess, or wound infection.
VAWC achieved early fascial closure
in a high percentage of open abdomens, with an acceptable rate of complications.