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Nolff, Mirja C.; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andrea (2015): Negative pressure wound therapy augmented full-thickness free skin grafting in the cat: outcome in 10 grafts transferred to six cats. In: Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, Vol. 17, No. 12: pp. 1041-1048
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Abstract

Objectives The aim of this clinical evaluation was to describe the technique and outcomes of negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) augmented skin grafting in cats. Methods Cats with soft tissue and skin defects (n = 6) underwent open wound management. Wounds were initially covered using a NPWT system that was changed to polyurethane foam dressing once infection was controlled and granulation started. Final closure was achieved after establishment of a healthy, fully granulated wound bed by grafting of free full-thickness skin from the lateral abdominal wall. The freshly grafted skin was then treated with an NPWT dressing at a pressure of –125 mmHg for 3 days, with dressing changes performed daily. Percentage graft take, complications, wound bioburden and cosmetic outcome were recorded. Results The mean duration of open wound management was 21.4 days (range 3.0–45.0 days), with a mean duration of NPWT of 8.0 days (range 3.0–14.0 days). Five cats received a single graft, while one cat had five grafts transferred to the right hindlimb. In 7/10 grafts, graft take was 100%, in two grafts take was 95% and in one graft take was 80% (mean take rate 97%). Therapy was well tolerated in all patients. The grafted site displayed normal hair regrowth in four cats, sparse hair regrowth in one and no hair growth at all in one patient. Skin sensation was normal in all grafted patients. Conclusions and relevance Skin graft augmentation using NPWT in cats is a feasible option that allows graft fixation, even in anatomically demanding areas. Graft take rate reported here is slightly higher than documented in previous reports.