Introduction/Background The aim of this study was to evaluate the indications and management of grade III-IV postoperative complications in patients requiring vacuum-assisted open abdomen after debulking surgery for ovarian carcinomatosis.
Methodology Retrospective study of prospectively collected data from patients who underwent a cytoreductive surgery by laparotomy for an epithelial ovarian cancer that required postoperative management of an open abdomen. An abdominal vacuum-assisted wound closure (VAWC) was applied in cases of abdominal compartmental syndrome (ACS) or intra-abdominal hypertension, to prevent ACS. The fascia was closed with a suture or a biologic mesh. The primary aim was to achieve primary fascial closure. Secondary outcomes considered included complications ofcytoreductive surgery (CRS) and open abdominal wounds (hernia, fistula).
Results Two percent of patients who underwent CRS required VAWC during the study’s patient inclusion period. VAWC indications included: (i) seven cases of gastro-intestinal perforation, (ii) three necrotic enterocolitis, (iii) two intestinal ischemia, (iv) three anastomotic leakages and (v) four intra-abdominal hemorrhages. VAWC was used to treat indications (i) to (iv) (which represented 73.7% of cases), to prevent compartmental syndrome. Primary fascia closure was achieved in 100% of cases, in four cases (21.0%) a biologic mesh was used.Median hospital stay was 65 days (range: 18–153). Four patients died during hospitalization, three of these within 30 days of VAWC completion.
Conclusion VAWC for managing open abdominal wounds is a reliable technique to treat surgical post-CRS complications in advanced ovarian cancer and reduces the early post-operative mortality in cases presenting with severe complications.
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