, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 385-390
Date: 07 Aug 2009

Occlusive dressing for large soft tissue defects following soft tissue tumor excision

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Reconstructive surgery using pedicles or free muscle-skin flaps and skin grafting reduces wound complications and promotes favorable limb function; however, the sacrifice of normal tissue remains problematic and complicated. Occlusive dressings are widely employed for management of injuries, burns, and surgical wounds. However, their effectiveness for treating soft tissue defects following a soft tissue tumor excision has not been fully elucidated. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of an occlusive dressing treatment method for soft tissue defects following soft tissue tumor excisions.


We retrospectively reviewed eight patients (three men, five women) whose wounds were treated with polyurethane foam occlusive dressings to allow reconstruction of the soft tissue defect following soft tissue tumor excision. Their mean age was 64.5 years (range 23–83 years), and the mean size of the defect was 60.1 cm2 (range 20–144 cm2). The wound was covered with a hydrophilic polyurethane dressing material. The treatment periods, incidence of complications, and ultimate outcomes were evaluated.


Seven defects were completely healed by secondary intention without the requirement of any additional surgery. Mean treatment periods were 21.6 weeks (range 13.5–44.0 weeks). Mean follow-up periods were 33.1 months (range 15.8–48.6 months). One patient with a recurrent malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH) who had a history of radiotherapy required a posterior thigh flap 44 weeks after the surgery. Recurrence due to a positive surgical margin was observed in only one patient with recurrent MFH. None of the patients exhibited clinical evidence of superficial or deep infection.


This treatment method is simple, safe, and reliable. We concluded that the highly favorable indications of this treatment are ideal for patients who wish to avoid sacrificing their normal tissue, have no history of radiotherapy before surgery, and do not require chemotherapy or radiotherapy after the operation.