Study Finds Use of AQUACEL® Ag SURGICAL Cover Dressing Significantly Reduces Wound Complications after Joint Replacement Surgery

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Published trial results also report significantly improved patient satisfaction rates

LUXEMBOURG (December 9, 2015)—Recently published results of a randomized controlled trial found that the use of AQUACEL® Ag SURGICAL Cover Dressing resulted in a significant reduction in wound complications and dressing changes, as well as significantly improved patient satisfaction  in patients undergoing total joint arthroplasty (TJA), as compared to the use of a standard gauze surgical dressing. Results of the trial were published in the American Journal of Orthopedics.1

According to the authors, wound complications—including delayed wound healing, blistering and prolonged drainage—following total joint replacement surgery are common, occurring in up to 30% of TJA patients,1 and have been associated with longer hospital stay and increased costs of care.1  

“We’re focused on hospital readmissions in health care right now,” said Bryan Springer, MD, author of the study, Fellowship Director at OrthoCarolina Hip & Knee Center, and president of the Musculoskeletal Infection Society (MSIS). “Every major database in U.S. shows that wound complications are the #1 cause for hospital readmissions following surgery.”

In the trial, 262 patients were randomized to receive either AQUACEL® Ag SURGICAL Cover Dressing or a standard gauze surgical dressing, following knee or hip replacement surgery.

Results indicate that the use of AQUACEL® Ag SURGICAL Cover Dressing vs. standard gauze dressing:

  • Showed significant reduction in wound complications (10% vs. 22%; p<.015) and blisters (0.7% vs. 6%; p<.026)1
  • Showed significant reduction in the number of dressing changes (0.14 vs. 2.8 changes, respectively; p<0.0001)1
  • Improved patient satisfaction (mean satisfaction score of 92 vs. 81;p<.0001).1 Patients were significantly more satisfied with their ability to take care of their personal hygiene, to change clothes, and to sit and sleep comfortably.

Study results were originally presented in poster form at the annual meeting of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons in 2013 and as a podium presentation at the closed meeting of the Knee Society in September 2015.

About the Study

The randomized controlled trial, conducted at the OrthoCarolina Hip and Knee Center in Charlotte, NC, and supported by ConvaTec, evaluated the incidence of wound complications in 262 patients undergoing total joint replacement. Patients were randomized to receive either AQUACEL® Ag SURGICAL cover dressing or standard gauze dressing. Standard protocols were followed for wound closure, and each dressing was applied to the surgical site in the operating room.

In the standard dressing group, the bandage was removed for wound evaluation on the second day following surgery, and the dressing was changed every other day during the hospital stay or as needed for wound drainage or other minor wound-healing concerns. In the AQUACEL® Ag SURGICAL group, the dressing was allowed to remain in place for seven days and removed by a home health nurse during a visit closest to but not before the seven-day period. (The dressing was also changed at the surgeon’s discretion if there were concerns about drainage or healing.) All patients were discharged home and visited by trained nurses from a single home health agency three times per week for four weeks. Final post-operative evaluations were conducted by the surgeon or physician’s assistant at the end of the four-week period.

Patient satisfaction was measured using questionnaires completed at each wound assessment, with patients rating their perceptions of the dressings on a scale of 0-100 using a visual analog scale in relation to their personal hygiene and activities of daily living after surgery.

About AQUACEL® Ag SURGICAL Cover Dressing

AQUACEL® Ag SURGICAL cover dressing is an advanced antimicrobial cover dressing that provides a proprietary Hydrofiber® Technology wound contact layer. It is designed to protect surgical incisions with a waterproof viral and bacterial barrier* that also allows for greater range of motion and comfort after surgery.

For more information about the AQUACEL® family of products and Hydrofiber® Technology, go to

About ConvaTec

ConvaTec is a global medical products and technologies company, with leading market positions in wound therapeutics, ostomy care, continence and critical care, and infusion devices. Its products provide a range of clinical and economic benefits, including infection prevention, protection of at-risk skin, improved patient outcomes, and reduced total cost of care. ConvaTec has over 9,000 employees, with 11 manufacturing sites in 8 countries, and does business in more than 100 countries. ConvaTec is owned by Nordic Capital and Avista Capital Partners.

* Provided the dressing remains intact and there is no leakage. The use of this dressing neither guarantees nor warranties against AIDS or Hepatitis virus transmission.