Focus of the Report: This report addresses the use of negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) used in addition to standard wound care following surgery to treat pilonidal disease.

Technology Description: NPWT uses a device to apply subatmospheric pressure in a closed environment to continuously or intermittently remove exudate by vacuuming the wound site. It is intended to aid healing of open wounds by removing exudate and mechanically bringing wound edges together.

Controversy: Surgical wounds resulting from the excision of pilonidal sinuses or cysts may be left open to heal (rather than sutured) to reduce the chance of recurrence (healing by secondary intention). Although the main contention in the literature is that NPWT aids in the healing of pilonidal disease surgical wounds by secondary intention, the value of leaving these wounds open has been questioned.

Key Questions:

  • Does NPWT promote healing after surgery for pilonidal disease?

  • How does NPWT compare with alternative methods for wound healing after surgery for pilonidal disease?

  • Is treatment with NPWT after surgery for pilonidal disease safe?

  • Have specific patient selection criteria for the use of NPWT after pilonidal disease surgery been established?

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