Patients undergoing laparotomy for abdominal sepsis and trauma are frequently managed by leaving the abdomen temporarily open (laparostomy). Negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) has become popular means of managing laparostomy wounds as it is said to facilitate nursing care and delayed primary would closure, but the evidence to support it is poor and concerns have recently been expressed about the risk of intestinal fistulation from exposed bowel, leading to an increased risk of death. A prospective observational study of 578 patients being treated with an open abdomen in 105 hospitals in the UK was undertaken between 1st January 2010 and 31st June 2011. The project was funded by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).


Graeme MacLennan;




Carlson GL, Patrick H, Amin AI, McPherson G, MacLennan G, Afolabi E, Mowatt G, Campbell B. Management of The Open Abdomen: a national Study of Clinical Outcome and Safety of Negative Pressure Wound Therapy. Ann Surg 2013;257(6):1154-9.