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Vacuum-Assisted Wound Closure Improves Healing

Wound infections following spinal procedures benefit from the process

FRIDAY, July 25 (HealthDay News) -- Vacuum-assisted wound closure (VAC) may assist wound healing in spinal procedures complicated by wound infections, according to a report the July issue of the Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques.

Avraam Ploumis, M.D., Ph.D., of Twin Cities Spine Center in Minneapolis, and colleagues retrospectively reviewed 73 consecutive patients with 79 wound infections post spine surgery. All patients were first taken to the operating room for irrigation and debridement followed by placement of the VAC with subsequent delayed closure of the wound.

On average, 1.4 procedures occurred until and including closure of the wound. The wound was closed an average of seven days (range five to 14) after the placement of the initial VAC on the wound. All of the patients with the exception of two cases of sepsis, achieved a clean, closed wound without removal of instrumentation at a minimum follow-up of one year. No identifiable factors were related to the number of surgical debridements or number of VAC procedures required for wound closure.

"The added benefit of the VAC device over the simple performance of irrigation and debridements and open wound treatment is the effect of continuous negative pressure on wound healing (fluid removal, increased circulation, granulation tissue regeneration)," the authors write. "VAC therapy may be an effective adjunct in closing postoperatively infected spinal wounds."

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