The impact of prophylactic negative pressure wound therapy on surgical site infections in pancreatic resection: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Published:August 26, 2022DOI:



      Surgical site infections (SSI) cause significant morbidity. Prophylactic negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) may promote wound healing and decrease SSI. The objective is to evaluate the effect of prophylactic NPWT on SSI in patients undergoing pancreatectomy.


      Electronic databases were searched from inception until April 2022. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing prophylactic NPWT to standard dressings in patients undergoing pancreatectomy were included. The primary outcome was the risk of SSI. Secondary outcomes included the risk of superficial and deep SSI and organ space infection (OSI). Random effects models were used for meta-analysis.


      Four single-centre RCTs including 309 patients were identified. Three studies were industry-sponsored, and two were at high risk of bias. There was no significant difference in the risk of SSI in patients receiving NPWT vs. control (14% vs. 21%, RR = 0.72, 95%CI = 0.32–1.60, p = 0.42, I2 = 53%). Likewise, there was no significant difference in the risk of superficial and deep SSI or OSI. No significant difference was found on subgroup analysis of patients at high risk of wound infection or on sensitivity analysis of studies at low risk of bias.


      Prophylactic NPWT does not significantly decrease the risk of SSI among patients undergoing pancreatectomy. Insufficient evidence exists to justify the routine use of NPWT.
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