Most wounds heal naturally, but some resist healing for months or even years.
According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, up to 6.5 million Americans suffer
from chronic wounds. The federal government calls it “a major and snowballing threat
to public health and the economy.” In our area, chronic wounds are a growing concern
– especially among patients with diabetes, heart disease, anemia, varicose veins and
peripheral arterial disease. Even obesity can cause
Wounds that won’t heal can lead to significant medical problems, including infections
and more serious complications. Treating chronic wounds is often complex and time
consuming, which is why most physicians are eager to refer patients with chronic
wounds to specialists at the McLaren Bay Region Wound Care & Hyperbaric Center.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Advanced Therapies & Treatments
The CelluTome™ epidermal harvesting system is a skin graft process that uses heat and vacuum pressure to help chronic wounds heal. Tiny pieces of healthy tissue, called epidermal microdomes, are removed (or harvested) from the patient’s own body and then transferred to the wound site. The procedure can be performed in an outpatient setting with minimal pain.
“CelluTome gives us an automated, precise and minimally invasive way to gather tissue from one part of the patient’s body and quickly graft it to a chronic wound on another part of the body,” Dr. Benitez said. “And since there is minimal pain, we don’t need to use anesthesia. The procedure usually takes less than one hour.”
Here’s how it works:
- The CelluTome™ Harvester is placed over the donor site. A combination of gentle warmth and negative pressure are used to gather the epidermal microdomes.
- The microdomes are secured on a special film.
- The physician immediately transfers the film – with the microdomes attached – directly to the wound.
New skin cells generally begin to grow quickly, helping the wound to heal. The donor site generally heals in 2 to 3 weeks.
Oxygen is essential for life and healing. Your body needs oxygen to survive. When tissue is damaged, even more oxygen is needed for healing. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy increases the amount of oxygen in your blood, which helps your body fight infection and stimulates healing,.
During HBOT, the patient breathes pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber. The air pressure in the chamber is slowly and safely increased to up to three times the normal air pressure. This enables the lungs to gather more oxygen than would be possible breathing pure oxygen at a normal air pressure.
After a series of treatments in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, patients often see improved healing of chronic wounds. HBOT can be used in combination with other wound treatments. It is most commonly used to treat:
- Diabetic foot wounds
- Necrotizing soft tissue infections
- Chronic bone infections (osteomyelitis)
- Compromised skin grafts and flaps
- Crush injuries and traumatic wounds
- Radiation tissue damage
Beyond treatment of chronic wounds, hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is used to treat carbon monoxide poisoning and smoke inhalation.
MIST therapy is an advanced painless, non-contact, low-frequency ultrasound treatment delivered through a saline mist to the wound bed.
Sometimes during the healing process, the cells in a wound seem to shut down. This causes the healing process to stall. MIST therapy’s ultrasound waves gently push against cells in the wound, like a hand pressing on a water balloon. This essentially wakes the cells up so they can continue their normal healing process.
Unlike most wound therapies that are limited to treating the wound surface, the gentle sound waves of MIST therapy stimulate the cells within and below the wound bed to accelerate the normal healing process. These gentle sound waves promote healing in several ways, including:
- Reducing a wide-range of bacteria
- Reducing inflammation
- Stimulating cells with increased blood flow
- Releasing growth factors
- Increasing collagen deposits
The ultrasound in MIST therapy is safely delivered through a saline mist that does not require contact with the wound and is painless to apply. Several studies have even shown it reduces wound pain over time.
The new specialty clinic brings healing to patients in the community.