Negative Pressure Wound Therapy as a Salvage Procedure in Venous Congestion of Microsurgical Procedures

Jorge I. Quintero, MD; Laura L. Cárdenas, MD; Adriana C. Achury, MD; Daniela Vega-Hoyos, MD; Julio Bermúdez, MD, MSc, PhD


Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2021;9(8):e3725 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) is widely used in skin defects, active infection, and surgical reconstruction; lately, it is being used after skin graft to improve the adhesion on the receptor area. During the last decade, another indication has been identified: the use of NPTW to avoid complications after free flaps such as venous congestion and the risk of necrosis. NPWT can be used in the initial complication of a free flap, and the venous congestions can be treated with this technique, with very good outcomes. NPWT can be established as a part of a postoperative protocol in microsurgical procedures to avoid major complications.


Negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) has been established as a part of the treatment of skin defects, active infections, and following skin grafts to promote their integration to the recipient area. Over the last decade, this therapy has been commonly used to avoid complications after free flap transfers[1,2] NPWT aids in decreasing complications such as venous congestion, and improves the neovascularization of the tissue in the recipient area.[3] Most of the existing literature refers to its usage for improving venous congestion; however, there are fewer studies on digital replantation or pediculate grafts. This case series aims to describe the outcomes of microsurgical procedures that led to immediate complications, and were treated using NPWT as a salvage procedure.