Does Preventive Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT) reduce local complications following Lymph Node Dissection (LND) in the management of metastatic skin tumors?

Published:August 23, 2022DOI:



      Axillary and inguinal lymph node dissection (LND) are performed in metastatic skin tumors with several local complications, such as lymphorrhea, lymphoceles, and lymphedema. The purpose of this study is to determine whether negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) applied as a preventive measure could improve outcomes.

      Materials and Methods

      A monocentric study included patients who underwent axillary or inguinal LND from May 2010 to March 2020, with a retrospective evaluation of prospectively collected data. Patients were divided into two groups: the conventional wound care (CWC) and the NPWT groups. Patients were systematically reviewed at D7, D30, and at 1 year postoperative, and data regarding lymphorrhea, lymphoceles, and lymphedema were collected.


      A total of 109 axillary and inguinal LND were performed. NPWT was applied on 68 LND and CWC on 41 LND. The variables, diabetes, smoking, gender, associated treatments, and primary pathology (melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, or Merkel tumors) were similar in both groups.
      Analyses have shown a significant difference in the rate of scar disunion during the first month between the two groups (p=0.045 between D1 and D7; p=0.011 between D8 and D30), as well as the presence of lymphorrhea (p=0.000 between D1 and D7; p=0.002 between D8 and D30). The rate of lymphoedema was significantly reduced in the NPWT group versus CWC (p=0.000 between D8 and D30; p=0.034 between D31 and 1 year).


      NPWT reduces local complications (scar disunion, lymphorrhea, and lymphedema) during the first year following LND in the management of node metastatic skin tumors.


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