ABDOMINAL WALL CATASTROPHE, THERAPEUTIC STRATEGY – A CASE REPORT AND REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
A complete abdominal wall defect (AWD) is life-threatening, has a functional and cosmetic impact on patients’ quality of life and represents a significant challenge for surgeons, requiring a multidisciplinary treatment strategy. The goals of the reconstructive surgery in the management of these defects are to provide stable coverage of the abdominal contents, restore function and achieve complete wound closure. We present a case that shows that the use of a biological mesh (porcine dermis), negative wound pressure therapy (NPWT) and split skin grafting is suitable to manage such defects when visceral exposure is present. A biological mesh is a good and less aggressive alternative to the use of free flaps, closing the AWD in a tension-free manner in an infected field or in one that is suspected of being infected and it has been shown to be better tolerated than synthetic meshes in open abdomens, with the ability to provide vascular ingrowth and incorporate itself into the native tissue. On the other hand, NPWT showed to provide a firm bandage for the patient and a closed, moist environment, protected from the invasion of bacteria, while eliminating excessive exudation, stimulating angiogenesis and reducing the wound surface area.
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