Q: What is a chronic, non-healing wound?
A: A chronic wound is any wound that hasn’t begun healing in two weeks or that hasn’t completely healed in four weeks.
Q: What are common types of chronic, non-healing wounds?
A: They include:
- Diabetic foot ulcers
- Venous-related ulcerations
- Non-healing surgical wounds
- Pressure ulcers
- Wounds related to metabolic disease
- Wounds that repeatedly break down
Q: What are causes of chronic, non-healing wounds?
A: Chronic, non-healing wounds can result from a number of factors, including diabetes, poor circulation, trauma, vascular disease and immobility (which can lead to pressure ulcers, commonly known as “bed sores”). Wounds come from a variety of different medical conditions, and they do not heal for many different reasons.
Q: How do you treat chronic, non-healing wounds?
A: Our goals for treating chronic wounds are simple: reduce pain, speed recovery and heal the wound.
Treatment at the Wound Care Center may include:
- Antibiotics, if an infection is present
- Topical wound care therapies
- Nutritional support
- Compression garments
- Prosthetics or orthotics
- Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Q: How can I prevent chronic, non-healing wounds?
A: To help prevent chronic wounds, we encourage patients to:
- Check skin daily for dryness, cracks, sores, bruises, reddened areas and blisters
- Relieve pressure on sensitive areas of the body by changing position or clothing
- Treat skin gently
- Cleanse skin with a mild, pH-balanced product
- Remove all cleanser residues from the skin
- Quit smoking
- Dry all skin folds and creases
- Moisturize skin and lubricate dry skin with a heavier barrier type product after moisturizing
- Wear soft clothing
- Drink adequate amounts of water
- Maintain proper nutrition.
- Don’t go barefoot either inside or outside
- Maintain your blood pressure and control your cholesterol
Q: Do I need the Wound Care Center?
A: If you have a sore or wound that has not begun healing in two weeks or that has not healed completely in six weeks, you should ask your doctor about the Wound Care Center.
Q: Do I have to change doctors to come to the Wound Care Center?
A: No, we will work very closely with your personal physician. We keep your doctor informed on all aspects of your treatment with frequent progress reports. While you’ll be receiving treatment for your wound from the Wound Care Center, you’ll continue to receive all of your routine care from your physician.
Q: Will my insurance cover my visit?
A: Many health care plans cover Wound Care Center treatments. We can help you determine what your plan covers.
Q: Do I need a referral from my physician?
A: No, a referral from your primary physician is not necessary. We will contact your physician and update him/her regarding your progress.
Q: What can I expect on my first visit?
A: The first appointment consists of an in-depth assessment by our wound care team, a review of your medical history, blood tests or additional tests if needed, and recommendations for your treatment plan. Please bring your medical records, insurance card, a list of all medications you are taking and a list of allergies you may have to the first appointment. Expect to spend a few hours at the Center.
Q: What is a typical office visit like?
A: When you first come in, our nurses or aides take you into a room, help clean your wound and prepare you to see the doctor. They will take a picture of you for the computer system and a picture of the wound each time you have a visit to see how well you are progressing. The doctor then comes in to assess the wound and will debride if necessary. When he is finished, the nurses and/or aides will come in to dress your wound and schedule another appointment or additional tests if necessary.
Q: How many times will I have to visit?
A: We like to see a patient once a week. Depending on the severity of the wound, more visits may be necessary.
Q: How long will it take my wound to heal?
A: There is no definite answer for this question. Certain diseases — diabetes, venous deficiencies or other medical conditions — may slow healing time. We will always do our best to promote proper wound healing. We provide vascular studies to check the oxygen flow to your lower extremities, venous testing to diagnose any problems in the veins of the lower extremities and molecular diagnostics to identify any bacteria present on the wound bed. These tests help us diagnose any problems keeping the wound from healing.
It is also important that you maintain your wound healing process at home and follow the instructions we give you so that your wound will heal successfully (and promptly).