Use of the open abdomen is often life-saving. In order to close the belly later, the treating surgeon must depend on quick recovery by the patient and good intensive care work. After even a few days, primary abdominal closure is often no longer possible due to retraction of the fascia. To date, there has been little to do to counter fascial retraction. While the abdomen remains open, approximation of the fascial edges is prevented by the protruding abdominal organs. Traction placed to approximate the fascial edges decreases intraabdominal volume and increases intraabdominal pressure.
Fascial retraction is an accepted consequence, which often makes a gradual and tedious closure impossible once the intraabdominal pressure has normalized.