Step Two: Wound Treatment
After your initial assessment, you’ll return to St. Joseph Medical Center for your first treatment session. Your treatment director will have already offered a treatment plan that suits you, the Advanced Wound Care Center, and your primary physician. There are a number of different treatments available. You may receive one or more of the following wound treatment options:
Debridement is the removal of dead tissue around the wound. This process helps clean the wound and promote healing. There are four main types of debridement:
- Sharp debridement. Dead tissue is removed with scalpel, scissors, or other sharp instruments. In extreme cases, surgery may be required.
- Enzymatic debridement. Topical agents containing enzymes dissolve dead tissue by attacking the fibrin and collagen of necrotic tissue and exudate.
“Infection control” is a broad catchall that covers many treatment methods. Patients may learn about basic wound dressing protocol, at-home disinfecting and cleaning, and other techniques to minimize the spread of infection.
If standard topical dressings are not helping your wound heal, then you may be given specialty wound dressings and other topical treatments.
Patients with wounds in their feet and legs may receive compression therapy – special elastic socks, stockings, or wraps that support veins and promote circulation. Compression therapy can help with a number of wounds, especially those related to or caused by diabetes.
Biological Skin Substitute
Your wound care physician may elect to utilize biological skin substitutes as part of your treatment.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Many patients at the Advanced Wound Care Center undergo hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment. During HBO2 therapy, you will comfortably rest in a special glass chamber, in which you can take a nap or watch television as a high concentration of oxygen enters your blood stream, promoting blood flow and stimulating new vascular growth.
In some cases, surgery may be required. Learn more about surgery, the third step in treatment, which is only necessary for some patients of the Advanced Wound Care Center.