- Patients discharging from the hospital after a lower extremity surgical procedure should be accompanied with an appropriate treatment plan to reduce the risk of amputation and to preserve patient mobility.
- Mechanically powered, disposable negative pressure wound therapy (dNPWT*) devices are small, wearable units that deliver negative pressure to low-exudating lower extremity wounds in the outpatient setting.
- Disposable NPWT retains the wound healing mechanisms that are at work in conventional negative pressure wound therapy,1 while its versatility minimizes interference with patient mobility when placed on a lower limb wound.
- This case series presents 8 patients receiving dNPWT for lower extremity wound management.
- Disposable NPWT was applied at a -125 mmHg setting.
- Dressings were changed every 2-3 days.
- After application of dNPWT, the wounds were closed or therapy was continued until eventual closure using conventional NPWT† or applications of an antimicrobial skin substitute.
- Where necessary, parenteral antibiotics were used to control infection and wounds were debrided to remove non-viable tissue.
- In one patient, wound closure was achieved using epidermal grafting. In this case, an epidermal harvesting system‡ was utilized to obtain the epidermal graft.
- All 8 patients were male, with an average age of 62.6 (range: 44-92) years.
- Wound types included surgical wounds, surgical dehiscence, and trauma.
- Patient comorbidities included diabetes, arthritis, neuropathy, and previous foot surgeries.
- Disposable NPWT was applied for an average of 2.5 weeks.
- Closure was achieved in 7 of 8 patients via secondary intention; in one patient the wound was closed with epidermal grafting.
- In these patients, the application of dNPWT was part of the postoperative outpatient treatment plan and helped bridge the transition to wound closure.
- Nicholas A. Cheney, DO provided initial surgical care for 4 of the patients.
- Jeffrey E. Gittins, DO provided initial surgical care for 2 of the patients.
- Healthcare support was provided by wound and ostomy nurses and clinical and administrative staff at St. Ann’s Hospital Wound Clinic and Licking Memorial Hospital Wound Clinic.