There is evidence that vacuum assisted closure increases the rate of wound healing and it is suggested that one of the actions of vacuum assisted closure (VAC) is to increase oxygenation of tissues.
A pilot study published in Wounds has found that VAC does not change oxygen partial pressures around venous leg ulcers.
The researcher recruited 17 patients with venous ulcers from a community wound clinic. Ankle brachial pressure index was measured to exclude patients with arterial disease.
Three transcutaneous oximetry measurements (TCOM) were taken from the skin around the venous ulcer before VAC therapy was applied. Compression therapy was applied over the VAC dressing. A reference TCOM was also taken from the chest.
TCOM measurements were repeated at the same skin sites after 6 days.
No significant difference was found between oxygen partial pressure before and after VAC therapy. The researchers found that TCOM of the skin around the ulcer was lower than the reference point and indicating that patients had moderate tissue hypoxia despite normal ABPIs.