© 2018 The Author(s). Background: Damage control surgery has revolutionized trauma surgery. Use of damage control surgery allows for resuscitation and reversal of coagulopathy at the risk of loss of abdominal domain and intra-abdominal complications. Temporary abdominal closure is possible with multiple techniques, the choice of which may affect ability to achieve primary fascial closure and further complication. Methods: A retrospective analysis of all trauma patients requiring damage control laparotomy upon admission to an ACS-verified level one trauma center from 2011 to 2016 was performed. Demographic and clinical data including ability and time to attain primary fascial closure, as well as complication rates, were recorded. The primary outcome measure was ability to achieve primary fascial closure during initial hospitalization. Results: Two hundred and thirty-nine patients met criteria for inclusion. Primary skin closure (57.7%), ABThera™ VAC system (ABT) (15.1%), Bogota bag (BB) (25.1%), or a modified Barker's vacuum-packing (BVP) (2.1%) were used in the initial laparotomy. Patients receiving skin-only closure had significantly higher rates of primary fascial closure and lower hospital mortality, but also significantly lower mean lactate, base deficit, and requirement for massive transfusion. Between ABT or BB, use of ABT was associated with increased rates of fascial closure. Multivariate regression revealed primary skin closure to be significantly associated with primary fascial closure while BB was associated with failure to achieve fascial closure. Conclusions: Primary skin closure is a viable option in the initial management of the open abdomen, although these patients demonstrated less injury burden in our study. Use of vacuum-assisted dressings continues to be the preferred method for temporary abdominal closure in damage control surgery for trauma.