Prophylactic incisional negative pressure wound therapy shows promising results in prevention of wound complications following inguinal lymph node dissection for Melanoma: A retrospective case-control series.


Department of Plastic Surgery, Odense University Hospital, Sdr. Boulevard 29, 5000 Odense, Denmark. Electronic address: [Email]


BACKGROUND : Inguinal lymphadenectomy (ILND) for melanoma is associated with a number of complications including seroma, surgical site infection (SSI), and lymphedema. Incisional negative pressure wound therapy (iNPWT) has shown promising results in preventing postoperative morbidity across a wide variety of surgical procedures, but these results are yet to be investigated in patients undergoing ILND for melanoma.
METHODS : In this study, we reviewed the data of 55 melanoma patients treated with ILND between January 2015 and January 2017 at Odense University Hospital. Patients were followed up until April 2018 for the occurrence of seroma, SSI, and lymphedema. We used prophylactic iNPWT after ILND in 14 patients and compared their morbidity outcomes with the 41 patients receiving standard postoperative wound care in the same period.
RESULTS : The iNPWT intervention significantly reduced seroma compared to the control group (28.6% vs. 90.3%, p < 0.001) and had a trending impact on wound infection (42.9% vs. 65.9%, p = 0.13). The effect was not significant for the prevention of lymphedema (35.7% vs. 51.2%, p = 0.33). Because the iNPWT group had relatively fewer incidences of seroma, SSI, and lymphedema, the iNPWT intervention was more cost-effective than conventional wound care (US$911.2 vs. US$2542.7, p < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS : The use of prophylactic iNPWT significantly reduced seroma formation following ILND. These promising results, however, need to be confirmed in a future prospective randomized trial.


Incisional negative pressure wound therapy,Lymphadenectomy,Lymphedema,Prevention,Seroma,Surgical wound infection,