In general, a wound is considered chronic when it fails to heal according to an expected timetable.
Wounds can develop for a number of reasons. Patients may have a wound because of a puncture, burn, laceration, or surgical procedure. Patients may also develop wounds from continuous pressure on a certain part of the body. Any of these wounds have the potential to become chronic.
Chronic non-healing wounds prevent the skin from closing and protecting the body from infection. If left untreated, these wounds can lead to serious infections of the blood and bone. The worst cases may lead to amputation, disability, and/or death. Because of these risks, prompt treatment is crucial.
Chronic non-healing wounds often develop when a patient has certain conditions that make healing more difficult, such as atherosclerosis or diabetes. Wounds may also become chronic when they don’t receive proper care during the healing process.
When a patient has a chronic wound, Dr. Menken begins by evaluating the wound to determine the best type of treatment. Some chronic wounds may simply need better surveillance. However, if wounds are infected or have developed a significant amount of necrotic tissue, other treatment may be required.
Dr. Menken can treat chronic wounds surgically with a procedure known as debridement. During this procedure, she removes all of the dead tissue from the wound with surgical tools so that the healthy tissue underneath will be exposed. This expedites the healing process and reduces the patient’s risk of complications.
Although most patients tolerate the debridement procedure well, it may cause temporary discomfort. Wound debridement may also cause bleeding. Dr. Menken will explain all of the risks of the procedure before scheduling it.
After receiving treatment, patients can improve wound healing by following all of Dr. Menken’s instructions carefully. Patients should also keep all follow-up appointments so that Dr. Menken can monitor the healing process.
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