Abdominal sepsis and trauma are the main indications for open abdomen. However, there is no robust evidence that open abdomen is better than closed in these cases. When using open abdomen, treatment goals are to control the source of infection, protect the bowel from damage, minimise adhesions between the bowel and abdominal wall, facilitate nursing care and allow permanent closure of the wound by bringing the fascial edges closer. Several temporary abdominal closure techniques exist, but are associated with high mortality and morbidity rates. There is no evidence that any specific temporary abdominal closure technique is better than others; however, negative pressure wound therapy appears to be a popular method of management of open abdomen.