Negative Pressure Wound Therapy in Preseptal Orbital Cellulitis Complicated With Necrotizing Fasciitis and Preseptal Abscess

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Preseptal cellulitis (PC) may be locally complicated with abscess formation and necrotizing fasciitis. If not treated promptly and adequately, it may result in further complications. The authors report a series of patients where negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) proved a safe and valuable adjunct therapy in avoiding complications of PC and in accelerating wound healing.


A 4 patient case series. Four male patients (11 months to 58 years old) with unilateral complicated PC.


Patients were admitted with PC and treated initially with specific intravenous antibiotic therapy. These patients did not respond adequately; therefore, surgical drainage and/or debridement were performed. After surgery, persistent edema and purulent discharge was observed prompting the need for adjunct NPWT every 48 to 72 hours. NPWT is the use of vacuum through a wound filler material covered with an airtight drape connected to a pump. Complete ophthalmologic examination was performed after each 48-hour cycle. Length of hospital stay, days from surgery to discharge, days from start of NPWT to discharge, clinical improvement, and safety.


Four patients were diagnosed with PC between 2 and 5 days of evolution. Two diabetic adults developed the condition secondary to trauma, the adolescent as a result of a cosmetic piercing, and the infant associated to sinusitis. NPWT reached –125 mm·Hg, except for the infant who received –75 mm·Hg. The average number of days necessary for improvement with NPWT was 6.7 days. Only 2 patients required surgical reconstruction. Time from debridement to discharge was in average 13.5 days. No ocular complications were observed, and follow up was satisfactory with normal eyelid function and aesthetics and preserved visual acuity.


NPWT proved to be safe and effective for treating locally complicated PC as an adjuvant therapy to antibiotic and surgical treatment that decreased the length of hospital stay, and the time for recovery in patients that were slow responders. No ocular complications were observed in any of these patients’ follow up ranging from 1 to 4 years.

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