Doctors promote NPWT for seniors' post-surgery care

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James P. Stannard, M.D.
James P. Stannard, M.D.

Negative pressure wound therapy holds promise for most seniors following a surgery, according to experts at the International Negative Pressure Wound Therapy Expert Meeting.

The meeting, supported by the Advanced Wound Management Division of Smith & Nephew, was attended by more than 200 wound pressure experts. It was held in March in Frankfurt, Germany.

Those who attended the conference said NPWT should be considered to prevent post-surgical complications for patients with two or more risk factors, including active smoking, diabetes, body mass index above 30, a surgery that lasted longer than five hours, vascular disease, previous history of wound dehiscence, immunosuppression or advanced age  (older than 70).

Smith & Nephew's PICO, a canister-free NPWT system, may reduce complications of surgical incisions for high-risk patients, study results have suggested. These include surgical incisions for Crohn's patients or following orthopedic surgery for hip and knee prosthesis.

“The role NPWT can play in preventing infection and other complications is still not fully understood, but there is increasing evidence that it is beneficial from both a patient and cost perspective,” said James P. Stannard, M.D., professor and surgeon at the Missouri Orthopaedic Institute at the University of Missouri.