By Zach Collins
Negative Pressure Wound Therapy. It certainly has a foreboding and intimidating name that gives mental images of Star Trek technology. The reality is much less scary than that, but the results are surprisingly as amazing as the name implies. But what exactly is it? How does it work? Let’s find out.
The first step to NPWT is the application of a foam dressing to the wound. This foam is an open-celled type of foam dressing which allows for the application of medication and removal of excess fluids, both of which are integral to the wound therapy process. The foam is typically then covered in a thin film-like substance. The advantage of foam dressings are that they can be fit to the exact size and shape of the wound, and removed with minimal effort. This dressing is usually changed 2-3 times a week, depending on the wound size and severity.
A vacuum pump is then attached to the foam dressing, and pressure (anywhere between -125 and -75 mmHg) is applied either continuously or intermittently, depending on the wound and the tolerance of the patient. This pumping and pressure will both suck out excess fluids and promote circulation around the site of the wound, which leads to accelerated healing, and a lessened chance of edema.
This type of wound therapy typically lasts several weeks to several months, again depending on the size and severity of the wound. Studies have shown that the healing time when utilizing wound therapy is much faster, and allows for patients to leave hospital settings much earlier than normally possible.
For those interested in finding out more about wound therapy, click here to qualify through insurance or call Toll Free at 1-888-345-1780. Additionally, physicians interested in NPWT can find more resources on our site here.