To compare resource utilization of NPWT and CWT for SAWHI after surgery.
NPWT is widely used in the management of complex wounds but high-level evidence of its resource use remains sparse.
The multicenter, multinational, randomized clinical SAWHI study enrolled a total of 539 consecutive, compliant adult patients with SAWHI after surgery without fascial dehiscence between August 2, 2011, and January 31, 2018. Patients were randomly assigned to NPWT and CWT stratified by study site and wound size using a centralized web-based tool. Evaluation of direct resource use comprised inpatient and outpatient time, personnel and material for wound treatment, and associated wound-related procedures. The resource use analysis was primarily based on the per protocol population (NPWT 157; CWT 174).
Although treatment length within 42 days was significantly shorter in the NPWT arm {Mean [Standard deviation (SD)] NPWT 22.8 (13.4); CWT 30.6 (13.3); P < 0.001 U-test}, hospitalization time was shorter with CWT [Mean (SD) NPWT 13.9 (11.1); CWT 11.8 (10.8); P = 0.047 U-test]. Significantly more study participants were outpatient with CWT [N=167 (96.0%)] than with NPWT [N = 140 (89.2%) (P = 0.017)]. Time for dressing changes per study participant [Mean (SD) (min) NPWT N = 133, 196 (221.1); CWT N = 152, 278 (208.2); P < .001 U-test] and for wound-related procedures [Mean (SD) (min) NPWT 167 (195); CWT 266 (313); P < 0.001 U-test] was significantly lower with NPWT.
NPWT reduces resource use and maybe an efficient treatment alternative to CWT for SAWHI after surgery.

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