Advanced Techniques to Diagnose and Treat Non-healing Wounds
Loyola Medicine provides clinically integrated care for non-healing wounds through our Wound Center. A wound that is slow to heal can result in many complications, including infection, pain and discomfort.
If you have a wound that has failed to heal after four weeks, Loyola’s wound care experts will diagnose your condition and design an individualized medical action plan just for you. Our team has received advanced training in evidence-based protocols and leading-edge therapies for non-healing wounds. Your care team will provide seamless communication with your primary care doctor.
You may need specialized wound care if you have:
- Burns — Loyola’s experts have vast experience in treating chemical, radiation, thermal and electrical burns. Our Burn Center is one of the most experienced in the Midwest.
- Cellulitis — A skin infection can occur when a break in the skin becomes infected with bacteria, such as staphylococcus and streptococcus.
- Neuropathic diabetic ulcers — Neuropathic diabetic ulcers are life-altering and must be treated in the early stages. Diabetes often causes foot ulcers, which can become infected. This serious medical condition is a leading cause of lower extremity amputations and is preventable.
- Peristomal skin irritations — Patients with a urinary or fecal ostomy can have various complications, especially during the first five years. These complications may include skin thickening, polyps, skin discoloration and redness.
- Pressure ulcers — These ulcers, also known as bedsores, are due to long-term injury from pressure to the skin.
- Surgical wounds — Several factors can complicate surgical wound care, including smoking, alcoholism, medications, obesity, diabetes, stress, oxygenation levels, nutrition, age and hormone levels.
- Traumatic wounds — Acute cuts, lacerations and puncture wounds may contain gravel, glass or shrapnel embedded in the skin, which can cause complications to the healing process.
- Vasculitis — An infection, medication or various diseases may cause your immune system to attack your blood vessels, complicating wound healing.
Why Choose the Wound Center at Loyola?
As part of an academic medical center, Loyola’s expert clinicians perform and teach the latest surgical techniques and medical treatments in numerous locations across the Chicago area. In addition, our nurses have earned Magnet status, which means they have been recognized for delivering the highest level of care.
What Treatments are Available at the Wound Center?
Loyola’s Wound Center offers a wide array of treatment options and advanced wound care technology, including:
- Bioengineered skin grafting — This treatment is used for patients who lack sufficient amount of skin for grafting or are too ill to endure the removal of healthy skin from their bodies.
- Compression therapy — This treatment helps patients with poor blood circulation.
- Conventional split-thickness skin grafts (STSG) — STSG, or autograft, is a common form of skin grafting with successful results.
- Edema management — Heart failure, kidney disease, liver cirrhosis and other conditions can lead to the buildup of fluid in the body. Treatments may include medications, bandaging and medical massage therapy.
- Electrical stimulation (E-stim) — Uses electrical energy to stimulate the wound bed and surrounding structures. E-Stim has been shown to increase local blood flow, decrease swelling, assist the body in removing unwanted tissue from the wound bed, and help decrease infection in the wound.
- Homograft — This is a treatment when skin is a gift from donors through resources of the Burn Center.
- Negative pressure wound therapy — Vacuum bandaging can help promote skin healing and is often used for first- and second-degree burns.
- Non-invasive vascular assessment — Doppler ultrasound is used to gather information about a patient’s blood flow, which will help your care team develop an optimal medication action plan.
- Offloading of diabetic foot ulcers — Application of specialized casts or boots to reduce pressure applied on ulcers
- Prescription growth factors — These can stimulate the growth of healthy cells to replace dead or damaged cells.
- Surgical debridement — The removal of dead, damaged or infected tissue helps less severely damaged surrounding skin to heal.
- Therapeutic ultrasound — Uses acoustic energy (sound waves) to cause several changes to the wound bed and surrounding area. Acoustic energy has been shown to attract the body’s natural wound healing agents to the wound. Ultrasound also helps stimulate the body to produce collagen, which is a main building block in would healing.
- Wound dressings — There are a variety of dressings to protect and promote the healing of wounds. Your doctor will discuss which are best for your condition.