Current treatment guidelines for biofilm-associated infections (BAI) recommend repeated sharp/surgical debridement followed by treatment with antimicrobial agents until the wound becomes self-sustaining in terms of a positive wound-healing trajectory. However, complete removal of a biofilm is unlikely, and biofilms reform rapidly. We have treated BAI in patients with chronic diabetic ulcers using a meshed skin graft combined with negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) immediately after surgical debridement, rather than waiting until the development of clean and healthy granulation tissue; the purpose of this exploratory study was to report the clinical results of this treatment strategy. This retrospective study included 75 patients with chronic diabetic ulcers who were treated for BAI by using surgical debridement, simultaneous meshed skin grafts, and NPWT. Healing time along with the percentage of complete wound closure within 12 weeks were evaluated; bacteria isolated from the wounds and their relation to the wound healing rate were investigated. All 75 wounds healed successfully, and the mean time for complete wound healing was 3.5 ± 1.8 weeks. In particular, 76% of wounds healed uneventfully without graft loss. A mean of 3.3 bacterial colonies/wound were isolated; however, no significant difference in wound healing was observed between the monomicrobial and polymicrobial groups. This exploratory study suggests that surgical debridement and simultaneous meshed skin grafts combined with NPWT may be successfully used to combat BAI in patients with chronic diabetic ulcers. We look forward to larger pivotal studies to confirm or refute these initially promising findings.
- diabetic ulcer
- negative pressure wound therapy
- skin graft
- surgical debridement
ASJC Scopus subject areas