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NICE Medtech Innovation Briefing for PICO

NICE recognition for PICO in potentially reducing surgical site complications

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (N.I.C.E.) has recently released a medical technology innovation briefing, demonstrating that PICO Single Use Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (sNPWT) technology, used prophylactically, can significantly reduce surgical site complications (SSCs) as an effective alternative to standard care1.

This is the first independent briefing of its kind on any sNPWT device.

Read it now


A cost-effective alternative1,5


Challenge your standard care and you may improve efficiency1,5


SSCs cost the NHS around £1billion2 annually, so we understand the need to simultaneously save healthcare resources and improve patient outcomes. PICO sNPWT is backed by robust clinical evidence as a genuine alternative to current standard care for closed surgical incisions1, to help address the challenges you face.

High expenditure due to SSCs?
It was estimated that PICO can create per-patient savings of over £1,000, and over £7,000 per higher risk patient, as demonstrated in primary hip and knee arthroplasty patients*5.

Too many hospital bed days used?
With PICO, there are fewer SSCs surgical site complications,  and hospital lengths of stay of nearly 5 days shorter**, as demonstrated in colorectal surgery patients1. You may release valuable hospital bed days.

Readmissions due to infection or dehiscence?
You may reduce surgical site infections (SSIs) by up to 58%1, and reduce dehiscence***1,3, thereby potentially limiting readmissions.

Wasted resources and nursing time?
Up to 7 days of uninterrupted use, potentially reducing dressing changes and potentially saving associated nursing time4.

Add PICO sNPWT to your preventative care.


Don’t settle for standard


Fewer SSCs may reduce associated healthcare costs5 and, therefore, potentially offset expenditure. We invite you to contact us to discuss how PICO may help your staff and patients, compared with your current standard care.

Compile a quote for PICO


Unique technology may help reduce SSCs

The innovative technology found in PICO has proven clinically effective in helping reduce SSCs1.

View the clinical evidence  

• Our unique AIRLOCK™ Technology layer distributes pressure evenly and consistently for up to 7 days, with optimal fluid management to reduce maceration4.
• Softport allows PICO sNPWT to be used on weight-bearing areas, with negative pressure delivered effectively even under compression6.
• A gentle silicone contact layer has been designed to help minimise pain and trauma to the peri-wound on application and removal6, while treating the underlying zone of injury4, 7 and reducing lateral tension8.
• In-vitro testing demonstrated that 99.9% of bacteria is locked away from the wound when absorbed into the AIRLOCK Technology layer9.




Tell me more about PICO sNPWT, such as how it may help improve surgical scar appearance10.


Up to 60% of SSCs are preventable11, so our aim with PICO sNPWT is to help you get CLOSER TO ZERO surgical site complications.


For further product information, we can arrange for a Smith & Nephew representative to contact you about this exciting briefing. Find out what PICO sNPWT could do for you.


Don’t forget to follow @smithnephew on Twitter for regular updates.


*Calculations based on a 220-patient randomised controlled trial. High-risk patients were those with BMI >35 or ASA >3.
**Meta-analysis included 10 RCT & 6 observational studies. Reduction in SSI (16 studies included): 1839 patients (2154 incisions); PICO 5.2%; control group 12.5%; p<0.0001. Mean reduction in hospital length of stay (8 studies included): 0.47 days; p<0.0001
***6 articles and 1068 patients. p=0.01



1) Strugala V and Martin R. Meta-analysis of comparative trials evaluating a prophylactic single-use negative pressure wound therapy system for the prevention of surgical site complications. Surgical Infections Vol 18 Number 07 (2017). DOI: 10.1089/sur.2017.156. 810-819.
2) Guest J.F. et al. Health economic burden that wounds impose on the National Health Service in the UK. Br Med J Open 2015; 5:12, e009283.
3) Galiano R.D., Hudson D, Shin J, et al. Incisional negative pressure wound therapy for prevention of wound healing complications following reduction mammoplasty. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open 2018;6:e1560; doi: 10.1097/GOX.0000000000001560; Published online 12 January 2018
4) Data on file. DS/17/253/R version2. Project Opal PICO 7 system stability testing, initial time point. November 2017
5) Nherera L.M. et al. Cost-effectiveness analysis of single-use negative pressure wound therapy dressings (sNPWT) to reduce surgical site complications (SSC) in routine primary hip and knee replacements. Wound Repair & Regeneration 2017; 25(3):474-482. DOI:10.1111/wrr.12530
6) Hurd T; Trueman P; Rossington A; Use of a portable, single-use negative pressure wound therapy device in home care patients with low to moderately exuding wounds: a case series; Ostomy Wound Management supplement, 60: 30-36. Issue 3, 2014.
7) Malmsjö M et al. Biological effects of a disposable, canisterless Negative Pressure Wound Therapy system. Eplasty 2014; 14:e15.
8) Loveluck J et al. Biomechanical modelling of forces applied to closed incision during single-use negative pressure wound therapy. Eplasty 2016; 16e20.
9) Data on file report 1712012. The retention of P.aeruginosa and S. aureus bacteria within PICO dressings after 72 hours under NPWT in a dynamic model. December 2017.
10) Tanaydin V, et al. Randomized controlled study comparing disposable negative-pressure wound therapy with standard care in bilateral breast reduction mammoplasty evaluating surgical site complications and scar quality. Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2018. doi. 10.1007/s00266-018-1095-0
11) World Union of Wound Healing Societies (WUWHS). Consensus document. Closed surgical incision management: understanding the role of NPWT. Wounds Int, 2016