J Wound Manag Res.  2019 Sep;15(2):99-102. 10.22467/jwmr.2019.00822.

Usefulness of Swim Tubes to Maintain the Postoperative Supine Position of Sacrococcygeal Sores

  • 1Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Nowon Eulji Medical Center, Eulji University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. hklee240@gmail.com


Patients with impaired mobility or quadriplegia often suffer from pressure sores in the dorsal trunk region. Following flap surgery for stage 3 and 4 sacrococcygeal sores, patients are placed in a prone position to avoid direct pressure on the surgical site. This causes considerable discomfort and increases the risk of postoperative pulmonary complications. The present study introduces a novel method using a swim tube to prevent the pressure on the flap while maintaining a posture comfortable for the patient.
The subjects were 34 patients who underwent flap surgery between 2015 to 2018 at our hospital. Swim tubes were prepared in different sizes based on the size of the surgical site. All 34 patients were given postoperative care including the use of swim tubes to support supine positions. The tube was placed under the body so that the surgical site was positioned over the center of the tube.
For all 34 patients, there was no loss of flap and sores healed well. Postoperative pulmonary complications decreased, and there were no new pressure sores where the patients came in contact with the tubes. Patient satisfaction increased significantly when prone positioning was kept to a minimum.
Postoperative positioning using a readily available and cost-effective swim tube can achieve both objectives of patient comfort and stability of the surgical site, by helping the patient maintain a comfortable position while protecting the surgical site from direct pressure.


Pressure ulcer; Postoperative care; Surgical flaps
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