Outcomes of subatmospheric pressure dressing therapy on wounds of the diabetic foot.

David G. Armstrong, Lawrence A. Lavery, Patricia Abu-Rumman, Eric H. Espensen, Jefferey R. Vazquez, Brent P. Nixon, Andrew J.M. Boulton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


The purpose of this retrospective study was to evaluate outcomes of people with large diabetic foot wounds treated with subatmospheric pressure dressing therapy immediately following surgical wound debridement. Data were abstracted from the medical records of 31 consecutive patients with diabetes, 77.4% male (n = 24), aged 56.1 +/- 11.7 years, presenting for care at two large multidisciplinary wound care centers. All patients received surgical debridement for indolent diabetic foot wounds and were subsequently started on a regimen of subatmospheric pressure dressing therapy delivered using a vacuum-assisted closure device for a mean of 4.7 +/- 4.2 weeks (mode = 2 weeks) using a protocol that called for cessation of therapy when the wound bed approached 100% coverage with granulation tissue with no exposed tendon, joint capsule, or bone. Outcomes evaluated included time to complete wound closure, proportion of patients achieving wound healing at the level of initial debridement, and complications associated with use of the device. The mean duration of wounds before therapy was 25.4 +/- 23.8 weeks. In patients treated with subatmospheric pressure dressing therapy, 90.3% (n = 28) of wounds healed at the level of debridement without the need for further bony resection in a mean 8.1 +/- 5.5 weeks. The remaining 9.7% (n = 3) went on to higher level amputation (below knee amputation = 3.2%, [n = 1] and transmetatarsal amputation = 6.5% [n = 2]). Complications included periwound maceration (19.4% [n = 6]), periwound cellulitis (3.2% [n = 1]), and deep space infection (3.2% [n = 1]). The authors concluded that appropriate use of subatmospheric pressure dressing therapy to achieve a rapid granular bed in diabetic foot wounds may have promise in treatment of this population at high risk for amputation and that a large, randomized trial is now indicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-68
Number of pages5
JournalOstomy/wound management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Nursing(all)
  • Gastroenterology


Dive into the research topics of 'Outcomes of subatmospheric pressure dressing therapy on wounds of the diabetic foot.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this