Background: It has been proposed that negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) applied prophylactically to a closed incision may decrease the incidence of wound complications. Patients undergoing reduction mammaplasty are at risk of wound complications such as delayed healing, infection, and dehiscence, and the bilateral nature of the surgery allows for a within-patient randomized study to evaluate incisional NPWT's effect in reducing healing complications. Methods: In this multicenter trial, 200 patients undergoing bilateral reduction mammaplasty were treated with PICO Single-Use NPWT System or standard wound-care dressings randomized to right or left breast for up to 14 days to enable within-patient comparison. Follow-up assessments were conducted to evaluate the difference in incision healing complications up to 21 days postsurgery. Healing complications (for the primary endpoint) were defined as delayed healing (incision not 100% closed by 7 days) and occurrence of dehiscence or infection within 21 days. Individual healing complications were assessed separately as secondary endpoints. Results: Significantly fewer healing complications (primary endpoint) were noted in NPWT-treated breasts [113 (56.8%)] versus standard care [123 (61.8%)]. The difference of 10 (5.0%) patients with fewer healing complications using NPWT was statistically significant (P = 0.004). NPWT also resulted in a significantly lower incidence of dehiscence (secondary endpoint) compared with standard care [32 patients (16.2%) versus 52 patients (26.4%)] by day 21, a relative reduction of 38% (P < 0.001). Conclusions: This is the first major prospective, within-patient, randomized, controlled, multicenter study to provide evidence for an incisional NPWT strategy to reduce healing complications.
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