What is Negative Pressure Wound Therapy?

Negative pressure wound therapy is a complementary wound therapy and is gaining attention in the EU and America regions.


Negative pressure wound therapy is a complementary wound therapy that is gaining attention in the EU and North America. Negative pressure wound therapy refers to continuously or intermittently applying sub-atmospheric pressure to the surface of a wound bed to remove exudate absorbed by dressings or collected in a canister.

Applications and Advantages

Negative pressure wound therapy is often used in skin graft, complicated acute wounds, surgical wounds, chronic wounds, burn wounds, and ulcers. This treatment has the following advantages:

  • Healing improvement:

    When NPWT is applied, wounds can be maintained in a wet environment, reducing edema, improve blood supply, proliferate granulation tissue, and accelerate recovery.

  • Infection prevention:

    NPWT aids bacteria clearance. Vacuuming in a single direction can also prevent further infection.

  • Discomfort reduction:

    NPWT can reduce the frequency of dressing changes and is deemed as a way to alleviate a patient’s physical and financial burden, as well as minimize wasting of healthcare resources.


In Taiwan, where healthcare is covered by National Health Insurance, negative pressure therapy is mainly applied to hard-to-heal chronic wounds such as a diabetic foot, pressure ulcers, and bed sores. However, not all wounds can be treated with negative pressure wound therapy, including:

  • Untreated osteomyelitis

  • Non-intestinal fistula or fistula without exploratory laparotomy

  • Necrotic tissue with scab

  • Open wounds associated with vessels, nerves, tendons and bones

  • Wounds at the anastomotic site

  • Bone/tendon-exposed wounds

  • Malignant wounds

The progress of conducting negative pressure therapy needs to be carefully evaluated by professionals in conjunction with proper wound care for better recovery.