ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Feb. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Smith & Nephew plc (LSE: SN, NYSE: SNN), the global medical technology business, announces the first use in the United States of the pocket-sized PICO single use Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT) System. Sonya Ahmed, MD, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital and Assistant Professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Medical School, applied the PICO system to a patient's incision following surgery to repair his calcaneal fracture, or fracture of the heel bone. The PICO system just received FDA clearance for commercial use in the U.S. Smith & Nephew will exhibit PICO at the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons' annual meeting in San Francisco. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110912/SF66336) (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110525/SF08565) The patient's injury was a result of a high energy fall from a height. 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." 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 orthopaedic, 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.