We conducted a post-hoc retrospective analysis of patients enrolled in a randomized controlled trial to evaluate overall costs of negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT; V.A.C. Therapy; KCI USA, Inc, San Antonio, Texas) versus advanced moist wound therapy (AMWT) in treating grade 2 and 3 diabetic foot wounds during a 12-week therapy course.
Data from two study arms (NPWT [n = 169] or AMWT [n = 166]) originating from Protocol VAC2001-08 were collected from patient records and used as the basis of the calculations performed in our cost analysis.
A total of 324 patient records (NPWT = 162; AMWT = 162) were analyzed. There was a median wound area reduction of 85.0% from baseline in patients treated with NPWT compared to a 61.8% reduction in those treated with AMWT. The total cost for all patients, regardless of closure, was $1,941,472.07 in the NPWT group compared to $2,196,315.86 in the AMWT group. In patients who achieved complete wound closure, the mean cost per patient in the NPWT group was $10,172 compared to $9,505 in the AMWT group; the median cost per 1 cm2 of closure was $1,227 with NPWT and $1,695 with AMWT. In patients who did not achieve complete wound closure, the mean total wound care cost per patient in the NPWT group was $13,262, compared to $15,069 in the AMWT group. The median cost to close 1 cm2 in wounds that didn't heal using NPWT was $1,633, compared to $2,927 with AMWT.
Our results show greater cost effectiveness with NPWT versus AMWT in recalcitrant wounds that didn't close during a 12-week period, due to lower expenditures on procedures and use of health-care resources.
Background: This study was undertaken to assess the benefits of negative-pressure wound therapy (NPWT) versus traditional wound therapies in reducing the incidence of lower-extremity amputations in patients with diabetic foot ulcers.
Methods: Administrative claims data for patients with diabetic foot ulcers from commercial payers (n = 3,524) and Medicare (n = 12,795) were retrospectively analyzed. Patients were divided into NPWT and control/traditional therapy groups on the basis of administrative codes. Risk-adjustment procedures were then performed to match patient risk categories (through total treatment costs) and wound severities (through debridement depth).
Results: The incidence of amputations in the NPWT groups was lower than that in the control groups. For the cost-based risk-adjustment analysis, amputation incidences with NPWT versus traditional therapy were 35% lower in the Medicare sample (10.8% versus 16.6%; P = .0077) and 34% lower in the commercial payer sample (14.1% versus 21.4%; P = .0951). Whereas overall amputation rates increased progressively with increasing wound debridement depth in both control groups, the same increasing trend did not occur in the NPWT groups.
Conclusions: Patients with diabetic foot ulcers in the Medicare sample treated with NPWT had a lower incidence of amputations than those undergoing traditional wound therapy; this finding was evident in wounds of varying depth in both populations studied. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 97(5): 351–359, 2007)
There is an increased prevalence of foot ulceration in patients with diabetes, leading to hospitalization. Early wound closure is necessary to prevent further infections and, ultimately, lower-limb amputations. There is no current evidence stating that an elevated preoperative hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) level is a contraindication to skin grafting. The purpose of this review was to determine whether elevated HbA1c levels are a contraindication to the application of skin grafts in diabetic patients.
A retrospective review was performed of 53 consecutive patients who underwent split-thickness skin graft application to the lower extremity between January 1, 2012, and December 31, 2015. A uniform surgical technique was used across all of the patients. A comparison of HbA1c levels between failed and healed skin grafts was reviewed.
Of 43 surgical sites (41 patients) that met the inclusion criteria, 27 healed with greater than 90% graft take and 16 had a skin graft that failed. There was no statistically significant difference in HbA1c levels in the group that healed a skin graft compared with the group in which skin graft failed to adhere.
Preliminary data suggest that an elevated HbA1c level is not a contraindication to application of a skin graft. The benefits of early wound closure outweigh the risks of skin graft application in patients with diabetes.
In the presence of a large gap where end-to-end repair of the torn Achilles tendon is difficult and V-Y advancement would likely be insufficient, augmentation is sometimes required. At our institute we have used primarily the hamstring autograft augmentation technique for the past two decades. The aim of this study was to analyze the complications after surgical treatment of Achilles tendon rupture with semitendinous tendon augmentation.
We retrospectively analyzed 58 consecutive patients treated with semitendinous tendon autograft augmentation at the Helsinki University Hospital between January 1, 2006, and January 1, 2016.
During the study period, 58 patients were operated on by six different surgeons. Of 14 observed complications (24%), seven were major and seven were minor. Most of the complications were infections (n = 10 [71%]) The infections were noted within a mean of 62 days postoperatively (range, 22–180 days). Seven patients with a complication underwent repeated operation because of skin edge necrosis and deep infection (five patients), hematoma formation (one patient), and a repeated rupture (one patient).
In light of the experience we have had with autologous semitendinous tendon graft augmentation, we cannot recommend this technique, and, hence, we should abandon reconstruction of Achilles tendon ruptures with autologous semitendinous tendon grafts at our institute. Instead, other augmentation techniques, such as flexor hallucis longus tendon transfer, should be used.
Diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) is a serious health problem. Major amputation increases the risk of mortality in patients with DFU; therefore, treatment methods other than major amputation come to the fore for these patients. Graft applications create an appropriate environment for the reproduction of epithelial cells. Similarly, epidermal growth factor (EGF) also stimulates epithelization and increases epidermis formation. In this study, we aimed to compare patients with DFU treated with EGF and those treated with a split-thickness skin graft.
Patients who were treated for DFU in the general surgery clinic were included in the study. The patients were evaluated retrospectively according to their demographic characteristics, wound characteristics, duration of treatment, and treatment modalities.
There were 26 patients in the EGF group and 21 patients in the graft group. The mean duration of treatment was 7 weeks (4-8 weeks) in the EGF group and 5.3 weeks (4-8 weeks) in the graft group (P < .05). In the EGF group, wound healing could not be achieved in one patient during the study period. In the graft group, no recovery was achieved in three patients (14.2%) in the donor site. Graft loss was detected in four patients (19%), and partial graft loss was observed in three patients (14.2%). The DFU of these patients were on the soles (85.7%). These patients have multiple comorbidities.
EGF application may be preferred to avoid graft complications in the graft area and the donor site, especially in elderly patients with multiple comorbidities and wounds on the soles.