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Primary Placement of Incisional Negative Pressure Wound Therapy at Time of Laparotomy for Gynecologic Malignancies
  1. Sarah Lynam, MD,
  2. Katrina S. Mark, MD and
  3. Sarah Madhu Temkin, MD
  1. * Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD; and
  2. Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Sarah M. Temkin, MD, 600 North Wolfe Street, Phipps 281, Baltimore, MD 21287. E-mail: stemkin1{at}


Objective Wound complications are an important cause of postoperative morbidity amongst patient with gynecologic malignancies. We evaluated whether the placement of prophylactic negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) at the time of laparotomy for gynecologic cancer surgery reduces wound complication rates.

Methods A retrospective analysis of patients undergoing laparotomy with primary wound closure performed by a gynecologic oncologist at a single academic institution over a 5-year study period was performed. Patients who had placement of prophylactic NPWT dressing were compared with patients with a standard closure. Postoperative outcomes were examined.

Results A total of 230 patients were identified: 208 women received standard wound care, 22 received NPWT. Groups were similar in age, prevalence of diabetes, tobacco use, and number of previous abdominal procedures. Intraoperative factors including length of procedure and transfusion requirements were similar. Body mass index for patients receiving standard treatment was 30.67 compared with 41.29 for NPWT group (P < 0.001). Incidence of all wound complications was 19.7% for those receiving standard treatment versus 27.3% for NPWT group (P = 0.40). Length of hospital stay was similar between the 2 groups (5.25 vs 6.22 days, P = 0.20). There were 3 hospital readmissions for wound complications—none occurred in women with a prophylactic NPWT dressing.

Conclusions Despite significantly higher obesity rates, patients with prophylactic NPWT dressing placement had similar rates of wound complications. Our findings suggest a potential therapeutic benefit in the use of prophylactic NPWT for the reduction of wound complications in this high-risk gynecologic oncology patient population.

  • Closed incision
  • Negative pressure wound therapy
  • Surgical site infections
  • Laparotomy
  • Quality improvement

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  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.