For a study, researchers sought to ascertain the impact of prophylactic negative-pressure wound therapy (pNPWT) in patients who received colorectal cancer surgery and were at high risk for surgical wound complications (SWCs).

Fifty patients who had open CRC surgery between November 2018 and February 2020 were involved in an open-label, randomized controlled experiment. The pNPWT group (n = 24) or control group (n = 26) were randomly allocated to participants. Patients in the pNPWT group had the pNPWT device applied to the wound for 7 days, whereas patients in the control group had sterile gauze applied to the wound. The main outcome studied was the 30-day SWCs (wound dehiscence/evisceration, hematoma, seroma, and surgical site infection). The assessment score for postoperative wound infection and the length of postoperative hospital stay were considered secondary outcomes.

There was a statistically significant difference between the pNPWT and control groups in the occurrence of 30-day SWCs (16.7% vs. 53.8%, P=.006). In addition, patients in the pNPWT group saw a considerably lower incidence of seroma (8.3% vs. 34.6%, P=.025) than those in the control group. Ten of the 50 patients (20%) in the trial experienced surgical site infections: 2 (8.3%) in the pNPWT group and 8 (30.8%) in the control group (P=.048). The investigation found no evidence of hematomas or wound dehiscence, or evisceration. The median length of stay did not differ across groups (P=.153).

The study established the efficacy of pNPWT in preventing SWCs in high-risk wounds following open CRC surgery.