Mechanical Negative Pressure Wound Therapy: Real-World Effectiveness in Challenging Patient Presentations



Wounds. 2021;33(12):E85-E89. 

In This Article


Comparative effectiveness research has found tNPWT and mNPWT to have similar wound healing and adverse event outcomes.[3,6] Therefore, considerations for patient selection for mNPWT vs tNPWT are in alignment with the 2021 International Consensus Panel Recommendations for the Optimization of Traditional and Single-Use Negative Pressure Wound Therapy in the Treatment of Acute and Chronic Wounds,[7] including therapeutic goals, wound-related factors, patient satisfaction, quality of life, care setting, economic-related factors, and product design. Patient presentation factors include mobility, dexterity, psychosocial constraints, insurance or financial status, and wound variables that may add preference for one NPWT system. Mechanical NPWT is especially convenient in the ambulatory setting, where device portability is an important consideration. Wounds with excessive drainage, significant depth or undermining, or in difficult locations still benefit from tNPWT or NPWT with instillation and dwell time. Dermatitis was observed in 2 of the cases reported in this study, which is a known complication of tNPWT.[8]

It is also important to consider other NPWT quality-of-life measures. Compared with tNPWT, mNPWT is associated with increased comfort as well as decreased noise, effect on social interactions, and sleep disruption.[3] Quality of life is improved with mNPWT compared with tNPWT because the mNPWT device weighs less than 3 ounces,[9] does not need to be plugged in to charge, is typically silent, and patients do not need to carry additional baggage. With mNPWT, the lightweight device is strapped near the wound site, thereby limiting excessive tubing and eliminating electrical cords. This can decrease the risk of falls and associated injuries. Some patients returning to their job, especially to work with physical requirements, request mNPWT to increase mobility.