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Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s Advanced Wound Care Clinic—What to do when wounds won’t heal

Sugar Land, TX - 12/27/2012

Persistent, nonhealing wounds may result from a variety of causes, such as medical illness, trauma, injury, burns or pressure sores. “Nonhealing wounds are often associated with inadequate circulation, neuropathy, immobility and ineffective wound management,” says Nicholas Desai, DPM, Medical Director of the Advanced Wound Care Clinic. “Wounds and ulcers are being seen more frequently in populations with metabolic conditions such as diabetes and affecting a variety of age groups from children to geriatrics.”

Nicholas Desai, DPM, Medical Director of the Advanced Wound Care ClinicNicholas Desai, DPM, Medical Director of the Advanced Wound Care Clinic

One of the unique features of Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s Advanced Wound Care Clinic is its multidisciplinary team approach. A panel of physicians discusses patients’ progress and determines the best therapies to promote healing. Our panel of physicians includes specialists in plastic surgery, general surgery, podiatry, infectious disease, internal medicine and vascular surgery.

Chronic sores can become seriously infected. These openings in the skin allow in foreign pathogens, further damaging the deeper layers of skin and underlying tissue. This can limit blood flow and slow the body’s healing process. Preventing infection is the key to rapid and successful recovery.

Individual treatment varies depending on the type and severity of the wound. The most important steps in the assessment and treatment of wounds regardless of cause are to assess and carefully dissect the underlying pathology, remove nonviable or unhealthy tissue to minimize the risk of infection, alleviate or relieve pressure from the wound, and utilize advanced dressings to expedite wound healing.

Doctors use a variety of dressings in the clinic including traditional gauze type dressings, collagen dressings, topical ointments or a combination of these with advanced living cell skin substitutes to start the healing process. The primary end goal in all cases is to heal the patient.

Offloading, specialized dressings and careful monitoring are only part of the plan. At our Advanced Wound Care Clinic, we have two new state-of-the-art hyperbaric chambers. “Essentially, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, a safe and evidence-based treatment, helps increase oxygen flow to the wound, thereby decreasing the bacterial load on the wound. This can stimulate new growth factors and cells migrating to the wound surface and promote new blood supply to the wound, resulting in the wound healing from the inside out,” Dr. Desai explains.

“In order to develop successful treatment plans, we must take into consideration each patient’s underlying condition and unique medical needs,” Dr. Desai comments. It is important that you seek medical attention if you have a wound that will not heal. If you have a diabetic wound, pressure ulcer, venous stasis ulcer, arterial ulcer, nonhealing surgical wound, complex soft tissue wound, traumatic wound, infected wound or wound caused by radiation therapy — our specialists may be able to help expedite healing. The clinic also makes arrangements for home health and transportation, if insurance allows, so our patients enjoy the maximum benefit of our comprehensive services.

For more information about the Advanced Wound Care Clinic, visit MethodistSugarLand.com or to schedule an appointment, please call 281-275-0770.

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