Expired Study
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Denver, Colorado 80204


This study hopes to determine if a negative pressure dressing is superior to a traditional dressing for speeding fistula closure after laparotomy. This study has a broad variety of implications. Patient safety is a paramount concern: Investigators hope to identify a superior method of wound management which minimizes risk for skin breakdown, sepsis, and morbidity. In addition, patient satisfaction would be improved with a method for faster wound healing. Finally,implications exist in the realm of a cost-benefit analysis, for example, although the VAC method is more costly, it may save money if it speeds healing and prevents the need for reoperation. Alternatively, if the VAC method is not shown to be beneficial, physicians can avoid using a more costly device with no proven benefit.

Study summary:

Investigators are planning a superiority trial to show that VAC use speeds the closure of enterocutaneous fistulae over routine gravity drainage. The investigators' design is a randomized controlled trial with two arms. One of the arms (non-VAC) will include patients assigned to a system of ECFoutput management which does not involve negative pressure (for example, an ostomy bag placed over the fistula, wet to dry dressing changes, etc..), and the second arm (VAC) will consist of a group of patients assigned to VAC negative pressure therapy with regular sponge irrigation with normal saline (the V.A.C.Ulta™ Negative Pressure Wound Therapy System) . The fistula vac is made from standard sponge supplies and negative pressure suction devices. Initial placement will be by the bedside physician in the intensive care unit, the ward, or in the clinic. The patient will be taught basic wound care, and as is typical for those outpatients with wound VACs, a home nursing aide will be arranged. Those randomized to no VAC therapy will have ostomy bags or wet to dry dressings placed on the skin with no negative pressure applied. Again, initial application will be performed by the bedside physician or a wound care nurse. The patient will be taught wound care, with assistance provided as necessary. Once a fistula is noted to have closed (effluent = 0cc/day) the dressings or VAC will be discontinued, and the date of fistula closure noted.


Inclusion Criteria: - post-laparotomy patient developing a new enterocutaneous fistula Exclusion Criteria: - patient with a prior history of abdominal radiation - patient with a distal obstruction, any entero-atmospheric fistula, or any patient with a history of intra-abdominal or metastatic cancer.



Primary Contact:

Principal Investigator
Fredric M Pieracci, MD MPH
Denver Health Medical Center

Backup Contact:


Location Contact:

Denver, Colorado 80204
United States

There is no listed contact information for this specific location.

Site Status: N/A

Data Source: ClinicalTrials.gov

Date Processed: March 16, 2018

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