When Wounds Won’t Heal
to the Journal By Cora Foster, MD
need sufficient blood circulation and a healthy immune system in order to heal
properly. People with poor circulation due to vascular disease, diabetes, or
paralysis get wounds, ulcers, and sores more easily than the general population
and they often take much longer to heal. The healing process for even relatively
small wounds can take weeks or months, which increases the risk of developing
the new Cayuga Center for Wound Healing at Cayuga Medical Center, the medical
field’s current “best practices” are utilized to promote healing for people
with problem wounds that are large or that have not followed usual healing
expectations. In the wound center, a multidisciplinary care team addresses all
of the contributing factors, including issues like underlying infections,
nutritional deficiencies, living conditions, and co-morbidities that can impede
healing, such as diabetes, obesity, and cancer. Additionally, for especially challenging
wounds, the wound center now offers state-of-the-art hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
are the most common chronic problems treated in the wound center?
most common wounds we treat are problematic diabetic foot ulcers, pressure
ulcers, and venous stasis ulcers 0n the legs due to poor circulation. We also
treat serious infections from necrotizing (flesh-eating) bacteria, osteomyelitis
(bone infections), and skin graphs that are failing to heal properly.
happens in the wound clinic?
ask you about your medical history, perform a physical exam, and do a full
assessment of your wound, along with a careful analysis of your nutrition,
mobility status, current medications, allergies, and environment. We use a systematic,
proven approach to healing for each specific type of wound we treat. A
multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, therapists and technicians who are
trained in wound care will follow your progress closely. By following evidence-based
national treatment protocols, we can ensure a high rate of success in healing
if I still have trouble healing?
Cayuga Center for Wound Healing now offers hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) to
promote healing for patients with wounds that have not responded to other
therapies. HBOT, which is administered in a clear-sided chamber, delivers 100
percent oxygen to your body at two to two-and-a-half times the pressure at sea
level. Enabling your body to absorb a concentrated level of oxygen under
pressure significantly promotes healing at the cellular level.
can I expect during HBOT?
typically lasts about two hours per session and is performed on a daily basis
for a prescribed number of treatments, depending on your particular problem.
You will be asked to lie on a small bed inside the chamber and may watch
television or listen to music, as you please. HBOT is administered under the
supervision of experienced doctors and you will be under the watchful eye of a
registered nurse or technician for the entire HBOT session.
you or someone you know is suffering from a wound that won’t heal, talk to your
doctor and ask for a referral, or call us directly at (phone number). The staff
at the Cayuga Center for Wound Healing is providing wound therapy at a higher
level. We are here to help you heal.
Foster is board certified in general surgery and serves as the medical director
of the Cayuga Center for Wound Healing at Cayuga Medical Center, where she is a
member of the medical staff. She practices surgery at Surgical Associates of
Ithaca and can be reached there at (607) 273-3161.