Background: Perioperative complications following inguinal lymphadenectomy, including seroma formation, are frequent. We have employed a 2-layer negative pressure wound therapy (2-LNPWT) as a method to reduce seroma rate and perioperative complications. We present the outcome of our initial experience with 2-LNPWT and compare the outcomes of its use with traditional closed suction drains (CSDs).
Materials and methods: A non-randomised retrospective case–control series was analysed. Surgeons performing inguinal lymphadenectomy for metastatic cutaneous melanoma utilised either the 2-LNPWT therapy or traditional CSDs according to their practice preference.
Results: The study included 111 patients. The cohorts were well matched for gender, disease burden, body mass index and comorbidities. The 2-LNPWT technique was associated with significantly better postoperative outcomes than CSD, in terms of incidence of seroma formation (26.9% vs 49.4%; p < 0.03), period of drainage (15 days vs 20 days; p = 0.005) and return to theatre rate (0% vs 15.3%; p = 0.03). The overall seroma rate was 44.1%. The only significant association with seroma initiation was the type of drainage system used (2-LNPWT 31.2% vs CSD 58.3%; p < 0.03; OR 3.0). The method of drainage did not alter the course of an established seroma. There was no significant difference in overall or disease-specific survival detected between the 2 groups.
Conclusion: This retrospective non-randomised case control study has demonstrated the safe use of a novel application of negative pressure wound therapy that significantly reduced the incidence of seroma formation and postoperative complication rate for inguinal lymphadenectomy for melanoma.