Treatment at the Wound Center

The Mid-West Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine provides some of the most advanced wound care therapies available to promote healing and speed recovery. In addition to healing wounds and treating the underlying causes, our goals include educating patients and families to prevent additional problem wounds.

Assessment

Our wound care team evaluates your wound to determine factors that may be affecting the healing process. An individualized plan is developed based on your assessment. The assessment includes:

  • A detailed history and physical exam
  • Nutritional assessment
  • Transcutaneous oxygen measurements to test for tissue oxygenation
  • Ankle brachial index to help determine if peripheral arterial disease is present
  • Evaluation of pressure relief methods
  • Consultations with your family physician and with surgical subspecialists, if needed, to ensure comprehensive care

Debridement

Debridement is the removal of dead skin or tissue. Debridement may be necessary in order to reduce bacteria in the wound and to heal it. Dead tissue appears yellow or black.

Signs of an infected wound

  • Redness
  • Odor
  • Increased pain
  • Swelling
  • Thick drainage
  • Warmth
  • Hardness

A tissue culture may be obtained to determine if your wound is infected and to determine which antibiotic will work best.

The four types of debridement

  1. Sharp: The doctor or nurse uses tweezers, scalpel or scissors to remove yellow or black tissue. Hard skin on the wound edges may also be removed. If debridement is expected, plan to take your pain medicine before the appointment and have someone drive you. If you have feeling in the wound, the area will be numbed with medication.
  2. Chemical: Chemical debridement is slower and uses application of enzymes in ointment form to remove dead tissue.
  3. Mechanical: Irrigation or a wet-to-dry dressing is used to remove dead tissue.
  4. Autolytic: The body will attack the dead tissue on its own over time. This is a very slow process. This will occur naturally under your dressing.

Advanced treatment technologies

Special technologies that may assist the wound in healing more quickly include:

  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
  • Apligraf: a synthetically grown skin (graft)
  • Dermagraft: a substitute skin used to enhance healing
  • Wound VAC: a vacuum-assisted wound closure system
  • Regranex: a gel containing growth factors that assist new tissue growth
  • Maggot therapy: the use of medicinal (sterilized) live maggots for removing dead skin or tissue from wounds. This therapy may be recommended in certain cases, but it is voluntary.