The Difficult Abdominal Wound: Management Tips

  • April E. MendozaEmail author
Wound Care After Injury (H Kaafarani and J Goverman, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Wound Care After Injury


Purpose of Review

This review aims to summarize therapeutic options for the management of complex surgical wounds of the abdomen especially in regard to emergency surgery and trauma patients.

Recent Findings

Wounds in emergency surgery and trauma patients are complex and have an elevated risk for surgical site infection and hernia. In addition, the open abdomen (OA) and damage control laparotomy (DCL) are techniques being increasingly used not just in trauma patients but in critically ill surgical patients as well. Although these techniques can be lifesaving, they can be complicated and difficult to manage especially in a patient that requires multiple takebacks and those with delayed closures requiring ongoing resuscitation.


This review article discusses the management options that facilitate wound closure and reduce wound complications in an emergency surgery and trauma patient. The article aims to provide a range of options that can be used regardless of resources and surgical expertise.


Abdominal wound Open abdomen Damage control laparotomy Temporary abdominal closure 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The author declares no conflicts of interest relevant to this manuscript.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Trauma, Emergency Surgery and Surgical Critical Care, Department of SurgeryMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA

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