In a new study by the Wound, researchers have suggested that negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) in facilitating firm split-thickness skin graft (STSG) showed better results associated with more patient mobility and lesser discomfort.
Because applying a splint for a wound on a patient's trunk or neck is considerably difficult, grafted skin may not firmly affix at the wound site. A study was conducted to compare NPWT to conventional bolster dressings in facilitating firm STSG attachment and allowing relatively easy removal of exudates.
A randomized controlled trial was conducted among 57 patients with wounds on the trunk or the neck who received STSGs. Due to discomfort, splints were not used. Patients were divided into 2 groups. Group 1 was provided an NPWT dressing; NPWT was applied continuously for 6 days between -75 mm Hg and -100 mm Hg with dressing changes at postoperative days 3 and 6. After postoperative day 6, antibiotic cream and a non-adherent foam dressing were used on the wounds. Group 2 was provided a conventional bolster dressing for the same time frame.
Among the 57 patients, 27 received NPWT and 30 received the bolster dressing. The results were;
--In group 1, the average survival score for the skin graft was more than 80 in all patients after postoperative day 7.
--In group 2, major graft loss occurred in 5 patients, requiring a second STSG.
--The average score of STSG survival on postoperative day 7 in group 2 was lower than that of group 1.
Conclusively, owing to the flexibility and elasticity afforded by the transparent adhesive film that is used in the NPWT technique, patients were more mobile and felt little discomfort compared to conventional procedures. The negative pressure dressing increased the percentage of graft survival and may reduce the need for a second STSG.