The Prophylactic Negative Pressure Wound Therapy in Obese Women at Cesarean Trial is a large pragmatic multi-center randomized clinical trial designed to evaluate the effectiveness, safety and cost-effectiveness of prophylactic negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) - a closed, sealed system that applies negative pressure to the wound surface via a single-use, battery-powered, portable device - to decrease surgical site infections (SSIs) in obese women.



Eligible Ages
Over 16 Years
Eligible Genders
Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion Criteria

  • Gestational age ≥23weeks
  • BMI≥30 Pre-pregnancy or BMI at first prenatal visit
  • Planned or unplanned cesarean delivery

Exclusion Criteria

  • Non-availability for postoperative follow-up
  • Contraindication to NPWT applicable to women undergoing cesarean: Pre-existing infection around incision site, Bleeding disorder, Therapeutic anticoagulation, Irradiated skin, Allergy to any component of the dressing (e.g. silver, acrylic, silicone, adhesive tape)

Study Design

Study Type
Intervention Model
Parallel Assignment
Primary Purpose
None (Open Label)

Arm Groups

ArmDescriptionAssigned Intervention
Prophylactic NPWT
Women assigned to prophylactic NPWT will have the Prevena device applied and secured with fixation adhesion strips. The device will be monitored while the patient is in the hospital to confirm that it is functioning well. The device will be removed prior to discharge, typically on postoperative day 4, but longer for up to 7 days for patients who remain hospitalized.
  • Device: Prophylactic NPWT
    The Prevena NPWT system is a small, lightweight, portable suction device consisting of an electric motor-driven vacuum pump connected to a proprietary foam and adhesive dressing. It is supplied as a pump with a sterile dressing kit and two batteries. Different dressing sizes are available for transverse and vertical incisions ranging from 13 to 20 cm and more. The pump maintains negative pressure of -125 mmHg to the wound surface. The device is placed after skin closure.
    Other names:
    • Prevena
Active Comparator
Standard Dressing
Women assigned to standard care will receive routine postoperative wound dressing consisting of layers of gauze and adhesive tap. The dressing will be removed after 24 - 48 hours.
  • Device: Standard Dressing
    Standard wound dressing is routine postoperative wound dressing consisting of layers of gauze and adhesive tape.

More Details

Indiana University

Study Contact

Detailed Description

Experimental evidence suggests that NPWT promotes wound healing by removing exudate, approximating the wound edges, and reducing bacterial contamination. Obesity (body mass index [BMI] ≥30kg/m2) increases the risk for both cesarean delivery and SSIs compared to non-obese women. The increased risk of SSIs is in part due to the increased thickness of the subcutaneous space, allowing collection of exudates and increasing tension on wound edges, promoting the growth of bacteria, and leading to wound infection and breakdown. Thus, prophylactic NPWT may be particularly effective in this patient population.

During the 5-year project period, investigators from 4 collaborating perinatal centers in the United Stated (two university and two community) will randomize 2850 obese women undergoing cesarean delivery to receive either prophylactic negative pressure wound therapy with the Prevena device or standard wound dressing. Women will be followed up to 30 days postoperatively to ascertain study outcomes.

The primary outcome for the trial is superficial or deep SSI after cesarean according to the CDC's National Healthcare Safety Network definitions. The investigators will also assess other wound complications, adverse events potentially attributable to NPWT and cost-effectiveness as measured by incremental cost per case of SSI prevented and per quality-adjusted life year (QALY).


Study information shown on this site is derived from ClinicalTrials.gov (a public registry operated by the National Institutes of Health). The listing of studies provided is not certain to be all studies for which you might be eligible. Furthermore, study eligibility requirements can be difficult to understand and may change over time, so it is wise to speak with your medical care provider and individual research study teams when making decisions related to participation.