Prevena - Preventative Wound Care Dressing Following Breast Reconstruction Surgery

By: Courtney Floyd

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For majority of patients undergoing breast reconstruction, surgical incisions will heal up normally.  In rare cases, it may be necessary to seek additional therapy for wound healing.  At PRMA, we take extra precautions with our high risk patients to prevent wound healing issues.    

Prevena Dressing

Prevena is a special wound care dressing that is sometimes used to help prevent   wound healing problems. 

Patients who are at higher risk for wound healing problems are those with BMI's greater than 30, have a history of smoking, or are diabetic. Sometimes, for very thin patients, a Prevena will be used to help with a tight incisional closure. 

The decision to use Prevena is usually determined during surgery based on the surgeons expert judgement.  

The Prevena is placed at the end of the procedure while the patient is still under anesthesia and is placed on top of the closed incision. Tubing connected to the dressing connects to a pocket sized suction system that helps prevent fluid accumulation at the wound site. The Prevena stays on your incision for 5-7 days and can be removed at home. The dressing peals off like a band-aid. 

Again, Preven is used as a preventative measure for patients who are at high risk for developing a wound.  Just because one is placed does not mean the patient has a wound or healing issue.  It's just an extra precaution used by our surgeons to reduce healing time for high risk patients. 

Here is an example of what the Prevena dressing looks like:

For patients who have developed a serious wound after surgery, wound VAC therapy is used to aid healing.

Wound Vac

A wound VAC (or vacuum assisted closure) is used after a major wound has developed. 

The would VAC is a device used to decrease air pressure on a wound allowing a wound heal more quickly. Using a wound VAC can help pull fluid from a wound, can reduce swelling, can stimulate tissue growth and can help pull the edges of a wound together. A wound VAC is used only in extreme wound healing cases. 

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