Negative pressure wound therapy does not decrease postoperative wound complications in patients undergoing mastectomy and flap fixation

L. De Rooij*, S.M.J. van Kuijk, E.R.M. van Haaren, A. Janssen, Y.L.J. Vissers, G.L. Beets, J. van Bastelaar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Web of Science)


Patients and breast cancer surgeons are frequently confronted with wound complications after mastectomy. Negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) is a promising technique for preventing wound complications after skin closure in elective surgery. However, a clinical study evaluating postoperative complications following the use of NPWT, focusing solely on closed incisions in patients undergoing mastectomy, has yet to be performed. Between June 2019 and February 2020, 50 consecutive patients underwent mastectomy with NPWT during the first seven postoperative days. This group was compared to a cohort of patients taking part in a randomized controlled trial between June 2014 and July 2018. Primary outcome was the rate of postoperative wound complications, i.e. surgical site infections, wound necrosis or wound dehiscence during the first three postoperative months. Secondary outcomes were the number of patients requiring unplanned visits to the hospital and developing clinically significant seroma (CSS). In total, 161 patients were analyzed, of whom 111 patients in the control group (CON) and 50 patients in the NPWT group (NPWT). Twenty-eight percent of the patients in the NPWT group developed postoperative wound complications, compared to 18.9% in the control group (OR=1.67 (95% CI 0.77-3.63), p=0.199). The number of patients requiring unplanned visits or developing CSS was not statistically significant between the groups. This study suggests that Avelle negative pressure wound therapy in mastectomy wounds does not lead to fewer postoperative wound complications. Additionally, it does not lead to fewer patients requiring unplanned visits or fewer patients developing clinically significant seromas.Trial registration: number, NCT03942575. Date of registration: 08/05/2019.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9620
Number of pages7
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2021



Cite this