What is NPWT?
Negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) is a topical therapy that provides controlled sub-atmospheric pressure in a sealed system on the surface of a wound. The use of negative pressure began centuries ago in Chinese and Egyptian medicine with cupping (see image) – small bowls of glass or other material are held over a flame or heat source, removing the oxygen and creating a vacuum. When quickly placed on local areas of skin, the vacuum seals the bowl to the skin. Cupping is thought to increase blood flow to problem areas.
From these ancient roots, modern negative pressure therapies began to be explored in the mid-twentieth century with the first forms available commercially by the late 1990s. Although an effective therapy, traditional NPWT requires the use of bulky mechanical pumps that restrict patient mobility and activities during the healing process.