Case Number 107014 - Novel Wound Healing Device

Contact: Jill Uhl
Phone: 513-558-5621

Description:  A fistula is an abnormal connection or passageway between organs or vessels that normally do not connect. The Enterocutaneous (EC) fistula arises between the intestine and the skin surface and occurs most often as a complication after bowel surgery. Stool or other enteric substances pass through the fistula and pool up in a wound bed (such as may be present following surgery), thereby preventing wound healing. Such fistulas may also develop in the setting of malnutrition, cancer, and inflammatory disease. Closure of such fistulas requires intensive in-patient wound management and can take up to several months.
Physicians at the University of Cincinnati developed a novel wound separator coupled to an ostomy appliance that physically separates the fistula from the wound bed, such that any stool, or other enteric substances, that pass through the fistula are prevented from communicating with the wound bed. As a result, healing is promoted because enteric substances are diverted from the wound bed, reducing the breakdown of soft tissue, skin, etc., and lowering the incidence of infection. The wound separator was utilized on several patients as part of a patient care customization plan. While no data was collected as part of a research study, the opinion of the treating physicians was that the device dramatically reduced healing time and no adverse effects were noted.
Advantages: Faster wound healing, decreased hospitalization times, adaptable for use with commonly used wound healing devices.