A problem wound is a wound that doesn't heal with conventional medical and surgical treatment. An adequate supply of oxygen is a requirement for effective wound healing. Oxygenated blood is delivered by a system of blood vessels, the arteries, to the tissue. These arteries branch becoming smaller and smaller, ultimately becoming microscopic in size. It is at the microscopic level that oxygen is released to the cells to support their function.
Failure of healing is usually in the large arteries or at the macroscopic level. In some situations, such as Diabetes Mellitus, blockages can occur at both levels. Generally surgical procedures are used to clear large artery obstructions.
Although there are no surgical procedures for clearing obstruction in small arteries, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBO) can be used to increase the oxygen concentration of the blood, enhancing tissue oxygenation and supporting tissue healing.
Diabetes & Non-Healing Wounds of the Extremities
Many diseases can cause blockages of arteries which supply oxygen to the tissues of the body. Diabetes is the most common culprit. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBO) is generally part of a carefully planned combination of surgical and medical treatment. At the Hyperbaric Medicine Center we work with a team of experienced specialists in Vascular Medicine, Podiatry, Plastic/Reconstructive Surgery, Orthopedics, Infectious Disease and Endocrinology to heal difficult, limb threatening wounds.
Wounds in Scarred Tissue
Scarring of tissue, due to radiation, chronic infection, repeated surgeries or inflammatory disease processes such as vasculitis, decreases the blood supply to tissue at the microscopic level, interfering with healing. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBO) or a combination of Plastic/Reconstructive Surgery and HBO often allows for more effective healing.