Also known as vacuum assisted wound closure (VAC) therapy, Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT) refers to a wound management system that applies gentle but continuous or intermittent suction through a wound dressing and a small electrical pump to facilitate faster wound healing by:

  • Eliminating excess fluid
  • Protecting the wound from germs
  • Fostering the growth of healthy tissue
  • Increasing blood supply to the wound site

The treatment has become very popular for the management of acute and chronic wounds.

How Is Negative Pressure Wound Therapy Performed.

  • First, sterile open-cell foam is cut to the required size and packed into the wound to act as a filter to prevent large particles (dead tissue, slough, blood clots) from clogging the suction system. If the wound is not sufficiently deep, open weave gauze (or any other honeycomb dressing textiles) can be substituted for the open-cell foam.
  • After applying the foam, the wound is covered with a polyurethane occlusive dressing to create an airtight seal around the wound.
    A pump is then connected to the dressing. Negative pressure is applied to create a vacuum environment around the wound. The pump contains a ‘collection chamber’ canister for moisture and drainage from the wound to collect.
  • The pump is programmed for suction strength, duration of time it will run, and whether the pressure should be continuous or intermittent. The standard pressure range is -125 to -75 mmHg depending on the type of wound and patient’s tolerance level.

Patients claim to feel a slight pulling sensation for a few seconds when the suction starts, which then disappears. The dressing is changed usually 2-3 times a week. To manage any pain and discomfort, you may be given some pain medication before changing the dressing and for the entire duration of the treatment.

The treatment involves the application of a sealed wound dressing that is connected to a pump to create a vacuum or negative pressure environment in the wound. Depending on the type of wound and its location, the vacuum can be applied continuously or intermittently.


Vacuum assisted closure, or negative pressure wound therapy, may be used to aid in the healing of different types of wounds, including:

  • Venous ulcers
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Diabetic ulcers
  • Arterial ulcers
  • Chronic wounds
  • First and second degree burns
  • Surgical and acute wounds prone to infection
  • Wounds with a lot of drainage

Negative pressure wound therapy may be performed in conjunction with other treatments, such as antibiotic therapy, wound debridement and irrigation, pain management, and nutritional management.

The procedure is usually done in a hospital setting where a health care professional can evaluate your overall health and monitor for worsening condition or infection. But if you are medically fit for discharge and still need NPWT, arrangements can be made to continue the therapy at home.

Consult Our Wound Care Specialist, Dr. Haimesh Shah Today!

For more information on our vacuum assisted wound closure therapy, please contact us @ 1.805-653-5312 or contact us online here.


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