aWashington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MObBecker Medical Library, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MOcDepartment of Surgery, Division of Public Health Sciences, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MOdInstitute for Public Health, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MOeDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO
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ObjectiveThe objective of the study was to assess the effect of prophylactic negative-pressure wound therapy on surgical site infections and other wound complications in women after cesarean delivery.Data SourcesWe searched Ovid Medline, Embase, SCOPUS, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and ClinicalTrials.gov.Study Eligibility CriteriaWe included randomized controlled trials and observational studies comparing prophylactic negative-pressure wound therapy with standard wound dressing for cesarean delivery.Study Appraisal and Synthesis MethodsThe primary outcome was surgical site infection after cesarean delivery. Secondary outcomes were composite wound complications, wound dehiscence, wound seroma, endometritis, and hospital readmission. Heterogeneity was assessed using Higgin’s I2. Relative risks with 95% confidence intervals were calculated using random-effects models.ResultsSix randomized controlled trials and 3 cohort studies in high-risk mostly obese women met inclusion criteria and were included in the meta-analysis. Six were full-text articles, 2 published abstracts, and 1 report of trial results in ClinicalTrials.gov. Studies were also heterogeneous in the patients included and type of negative-pressure wound therapy device. The risk of surgical site infection was significantly lower with the use of prophylactic negative-pressure wound therapy compared with standard wound dressing (7 studies: pooled risk ratio, 0.45; 95% confidence interval, 0.31–0.66; adjusted risk ratio, –6.0%, 95% confidence interval, –10.0% to –3.0%; number needed to treat, 17, 95% confidence interval, 10–34). There was no evidence of significant statistical heterogeneity (I2 = 9.9%) or publication bias (Egger P = .532). Of the secondary outcomes, only composite wound complications were significantly reduced in patients receiving prophylactic negative-pressure wound therapy compared with standard dressing (9 studies: pooled risk ratio, 0.68, 95% confidence interval, 0.49–0.94).ConclusionStudies on the effectiveness of prophylactic negative-pressure wound therapy at cesarean delivery are heterogeneous but suggest a reduction in surgical site infection and overall wound complications. Larger definitive trials are needed to clarify the clinical utility of prophylactic negative-pressure wound therapy after cesarean delivery.