Wound healing is a complex process in which the skin repairs itself after an injury. This process is not only complex but fragile; certain conditions can prevent a wound from healing.
One reason a wound doesn't heal is because of diabetes. Many people with diabetes have poor circulation, decreased immunity and a lack of sensation in the feet. These conditions make people with diabetes susceptible to infections that, if left untreated, could lead to amputation.
Virtua's Wound Healing Center has two locations: Virtua Berlin and the Health and Wellness Center in Washington Township. The center provides comprehensive treatment, rehabilitation and prevention of acute and non-healing wounds. The wound center team includes physical therapists, nutritionists, registered dietitians, advanced practice nurses, endocrinologists, infectious disease specialists, and a variety of surgeons, including foot and ankle, plastic, vascular and general surgeons.
The team develops individual wound-management plans that can include a number of treatments that include:
- Appropriate dressing and pressure relief
- Debridement and bioengineered grafting
- Nutritional support
- Electrical stimulation
- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
- Physical therapy
- Vascular assessment
- Infection assessment and intervention
- Pain assessment and management
- Compression therapy and lower extremity edema control
The Wound Healing Center also provides:
- Patient and family education
- Life-long follow-up to minimize recurrences
- Convenience of being affiliated with an acute-care hospital
In addition to the treatments above, Virtua also provides hyperbaric oxygen therapy. During this therapy, patients take in 100 percent oxygen, which increases the oxygen level in the blood and promotes healing. During the therapy, patients are monitored by physicians and technicians who are specially trained in hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
For those whose non-healing wound is caused by diabetes, Virtua provides an Outpatient Diabetes Education Program; a number of classes and support groups including diabetes fitness; individual counseling; and a teen diabetes support group. Find a class or a support group.