News and Stories from the Texas Medical Community


LBJ Hospital Physician First to USE PICO Single-Use Negative Pressure Wound Therapy

By on February 7, 2012 in Health News Texas with 0 Comments

by Health New Texas Staff

The first use in the United States of the pocket-sized PICO single-use Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT) System has been announced by Smith & Nephew, a global medical technology company.

The PICO was applied by Dr. Sonya Ahmed, of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital in Houston and Assistant Professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

Sonya Ahmed, M.D., who was a member of the University of Missouri-Kansas City track and field team and still holds the team records in the women’s pole vault, was the first in the United States to use the pocket-sized PICO single-use Negative Pressure Wound Therapy System. Photo:  UMKC

She applied the system to a patient’s incision following surgery to repair his calcaneal fracture, or fracture of the heel bone. The PICO system has just received FDA clearance for commercial use in the U.S.

The patient’s injury was a result of a high-energy fall. After the surgery to repair the fracture, Dr. Ahmed applied the new PICO system to the closed surgical wound.

“This type of post-surgical wound is often complicated by co-morbidities such as diabetes, smoking, obesity and surrounding vascularity,” Dr. Ahmed said. “Early findings have revealed that NPWT creates an environment that may support less wound complications in these cases, and when used correctly may reduce long-term complications. During my first experience with PICO, I removed the system after 72 hours. The incision was pristine. There were no signs of ischemia, drainage or desquamation to the surrounding skin or incision. After one-week follow-up I am pleased with the appearance of this wound and am anxious to obtain long-term results.”

“At LBJ, we aim to provide great medical care in a safe, compassionate, and cost-conscious manner,” said Jessie L. Tucker III, PhD, Senior Vice President and Administrator of Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital. “So we are quick to adopt innovative technologies that enable us to enhance patient care effectively and efficiently. We are proud to have had the first case with PICO in the U.S.”

The PICO single-use Negative Pressure Wound Therapy System by Smith & Nephew. Photo: Smith & Nephew

In addition to the traditional indications for NPWT, the PICO system is indicated for closed surgical incisions. This use of NPWT expands the application of NPWT to include patients recovering from orthopedic, plastic and general surgeries, to help reduce surgical site complications in high-risk patients or those undergoing high-risk procedures. There are 28 million surgical incisions in the U.S. annually, 10% to 15% of which are considered high risk.

With its palm sized, one-button pump and revolutionary dressing technology that manages fluids without a bulky canister, the PICO system represents an entirely new way to deliver NPWT and a significant advancement for the patient, clinician and payer.

It brings NPWT to a wider range of patients. Its simplicity and ease of use enables more clinicians to use NPWT in a cost-effective manner. For the payer, the PICO system is more affordable and can significantly reduce therapy costs associated with traditional NPWT as it is available off-the-shelf, helping to conserve and manage healthcare resources.

“LBJ Hospital aims to provide the highest quality care within tight economic limits,” said Thomas Dugan, President, Smith & Nephew Advanced Wound Management, North America. “Smith & Nephew is committed to innovation that reduces the human and economic costs of wounds. Reflecting this commitment, we built our PICO system to help clinicians make NPWT available to a broader range of patients at a lower cost. We are delighted to have supported Dr. Ahmed and LBJ Hospital in this way and we are excited by the rapid and enthusiastic adoption we are seeing in hospitals across the U.S.”

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