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Main » 2013 » March » 6 » New Retrospective Study Reports Greater Effectiveness of KCI ABThera™ System Compared to Traditional Technique
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New Retrospective Study Reports Greater Effectiveness of KCI ABThera™ System Compared to Traditional Technique
Authors Conclude Significantly Greater Success with Ultimate Closure after Open Abdomen Management Compared to Barker Vacuum Pack Technique

SAN ANTONIO - Wednesday, March 6th 2013 [BUSINESS WIRE/ ME NewsWire]

Kinetic Concepts, Inc. announced today that ABThera™ Open Abdomen Negative Pressure Therapy System (ABThera™ OA NPT) was associated with a significantly higher ultimate midline fascial closure rate compared to traditional Barker vacuum pack technique (BVPT) according to a new retrospective study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.1 Improved patient results and savings from successful closure offset the added cost of the negative pressure device, according to the study authors.

"My bias going into this study was that there would be no difference in outcomes between the two techniques,” said Richard C. Frazee, MD, FACS, Vice Chairman Surgical Services, Scott & White Hospital, and lead author of the study. "However, the study showed a clear advantage favoring the ABThera™ OA NPT, and we continue to use it for our open abdomen patients with good success.”

Leaving the abdomen open during the management of complex abdominal problems has become common practice. A prolonged open abdomen can result in fluid loss, infection, loss of abdominal domain, organ dysfunction and death. Clinical research has shown that removing potentially detrimental peritoneal fluid and achieving primary fascial closure are important goals when managing patients who require an open abdomen for the treatment of critical illness.2 The methods of temporary abdominal closure (TAC) chosen may play an important role in patient outcomes.

In this study, 37 open abdomen patients who had temporary abdominal closure with ABThera™ OA NPT from 2010 to 2011 were compared to 37 patients using BVPT for open abdomen management from 2009 to 2010. This study analyzed patient demographics, body mass index (BMI), preoperative albumin, indication for open abdomen management, number of operations, use of sequential closure and success with closure. Although the initial up-front cost of the ABThera™ OA NPT was higher than that of BVPT, the authors suggest that ABThera™ OA NPT was associated with potential significant cost savings due to a reduction of long-term morbidity and subsequent ventral hernia repair.

In 33 patients (89 percent), ultimate midline fascial closure was achieved with the ABThera™ OA NPT group versus 22 patients (59 percent) using BVPT (p< 0.05). Based on the difference in closure rates between these two methods, the authors estimated that 11 ventral hernias could have been prevented for a cost savings of $176,000.

"KCI is committed to changing the practice of medicine and improving patient lives,” said Ron Silverman, MD, chief medical officer, KCI. "The clinical results and health economic implications of this important study should prove very helpful to clinicians managing patients with an open abdomen, which is a complex and often life-threatening condition.”

The ABThera™ Open Abdomen Negative Pressure Therapy System is indicated for temporary bridging of abdominal wall openings where primary closure is not possible and repeat abdominal entries are necessary. This system is intended for use in open abdominal wounds with exposed viscera, including, but not limited to, abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS).

For more information or to download the article, please visit

About KCI

Kinetic Concepts, Inc. is a leading global medical technology company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of innovative, high-technology therapies and products for the wound care and therapeutic support system markets. Headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, KCI has significantly advanced the science of wound healing over the course of more than three decades. KCI success can be traced to a history deeply rooted in innovation and a passion for significantly improving patient outcomes while reducing the overall cost of care for patients around the world. Proprietary KCI negative pressure technologies have revolutionized the way in which caregivers treat a wide variety of wound types. Additional information about KCI and its products is available at

1Frazee RC, Abernathy SW, Jupiter DC, et al. Are Commercial Negative Pressure Systems Worth the Cost in Open Abdomen Management? J Am Coll Surg 2013:1-4 (in press).

2Goussos N, Kim BD, Jenkins DH, et al. Factors affecting primary fascial closure of the open abdomen in the nontrauma patient. Surgery 2012 October 1;152(4):777-84.


KCI Corporate Communications

Mike Barger, 1-210-255-6825
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