The management of patients with an open abdomen is challenging. Control of intra-abdominal fluid secretion, facilitation of abdominal exploration and preservation of fascia for abdominal wall closure can test even the most experienced surgeon. Over the years various techniques have been tried to minimise complications and expedite closure with VAC® therapy (KCI Medical, Witney, Oxford UK) being the newest. This article provides an overview of the techniques available for the management of the open abdomen from towel clips to VAC®.
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