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Skilled Care for Problem Wounds

Some patients struggle with wounds that do not heal, even after weeks or months of care. Our Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Center offers specialized services for non-healing wounds.

Our team of doctors includes a family physician, an infectious disease specialist, and a podiatrist – all with advanced training in wound care. Our providers are nationally certified and work closely with KRMC’s network of vascular surgeons, general surgeons, interventional radiologists, and orthopedic surgeons.

foot wound careThe causes of non-healing wounds are complex. With expertise in a variety of areas, our providers take a team approach to wound care. This involves addressing the underlying causes, controlling infection, and improving overall health and nutrition.

After an initial evaluation, we create an individualized, comprehensive care plan for each patient. We care for the whole person and understand that your physical and emotional needs are integral to your healing process. Our staff will coordinate your care with your primary doctor or referring provider to ensure your overall wellbeing.  

Upon your doctor’s referral, most health insurances, including Medicare and Medicaid cover hyperbaric oxygen therapy for treating diabetic wounds. Other types of wounds are eligible for coverage on a case-by-case basis.

What to Expect at Your Visit

At your first visit, a physician will complete a physical exam, photograph your wound, review your medical history, and determine whether further testing is required.

Please bring the following items to your appointment:

  • A completed “New Patient” packet
  • A list of current medications,
  • A list of allergies
  • Insurance information

Please discuss any questions or concerns with your wound care team during your evaluation. This helps us to be sure you understand your treatment plan. Your commitment and active participation in your care are essential to success.

Wounds Treated

We specialize in treating many types of wounds, including wounds that are resistant to other methods. These may include:

  • Diabetic foot ulcers
  • Venous and arterial leg ulcers
  • Lymphedema
  • Pressure ulcers or bedsores
  • Bone Infection
  • Failing skin/muscle grafts or flaps
  • Skin tears or lacerations
  • Pyoderma gangrenosum
  • Necrotizing fasciitis
  • Gangrene
  • Traumatic wounds
  • Effects of radiation therapy
  • Post-operation wounds and infections
  • Wounds due to autoimmune disorders

Any wound that is present for 30 days or more should be evaluated by a specialist in our wound healing center.

Treatment Options

Blood Sugar Control– High blood sugar lowers immune response which can prevent wound healing. Adjustments in diet or medications can aid in fighting infections and healing wounds. If glucose is not under control we will work with your primary care physician to achieve optimal blood sugar control.

Specialty Wound Dressings– Medicines and dressings support the healing of wounds.

Debridement– The removal of dead or abnormal tissue around the wound is often needed to clean the wound and promote healing.

Antibiotics We culture your wounds to find the most appropriate antibiotics to prevent and clear any infection.

Alleviation of Weight-Bearing Wounds– Special casts or boots are placed on the foot to “off-load” pressure from the ulcer to promote healing.

Ultrasound Mist Therapy– A non-contact low energy ultrasound delivers energy to the wound to promote healing.

Compression Wrapping– We use specialized wraps to help with conditions affecting circulation, such as venous insufficiency and lymphedema.

Lymphedema Treatment– Our specialized physician and therapists can help lymphedema patients improve edema and control symptoms.

Skin Grafts– A bio-engineered skin graft or human skin graft can be used to treat wound ulcers that do not heal with conventional treatments. Skin grafts have been shown to speed up the healing process.

Surgery– Bypass surgery can improve blood flow within the arteries of the legs. This helps with wound healing and may prevent amputations.

patient and nurse with hyperbaric chamberHyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a specialized treatment that accelerates the natural healing process. It is a safe and comfortable treatment that involves breathing 100 % oxygen under pressure within a controlled chamber. This increases the oxygen in your tissues to promote healing and fight infection. Over the course of several treatments, many patients achieve wound healing that is not otherwise possible using other methods.

Patients who receive HBOT are essentially breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized room. The air pressure in the chamber can be raised up to three times higher than normal air pressure, which allows the lungs to gather three times more oxygen than breathing pure oxygen at normal pressure. The super oxygenated serum then carries the oxygen through the body releasing substances that promote healing.

What to Expect in Our Hyperbaric Oxygen (HBO) Chamber

Our HBO chambers weigh more than one ton and feature a reclining bed inside a clear acrylic window. While receiving oxygen therapy, you can listen to music or watch television or movies. Most people feel a physical sensation similar to what you feel when you’re in an airplane that is landing.

Who Needs HBOT?

Patients with certain medical conditions benefit from the increased levels of oxygen provided during HBO. Potential candidates include people with:

  • Diabetes and lower extremity wounds that are not healing
  • Wounds that haven’t shown improvement in four weeks of treatment
  • Certain bone and skin infections
  • Radiation skin injuries
  • Compromised or failing skin grafts or flaps
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Decompression sickness
  • Gangrene
  • Rare infections

Is HBOT Covered by My Insurance?

Medicare has approved coverage for HBO therapy for many types of chronic non-healing wounds, and most private insurance companies follow Medicare’s guidelines. Our staff at the KRMC Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Center will review your insurance plan and get authorization before starting any treatments.