We have a team of doctors and nurses who specialize in ostomy care and are available to help people who have issues related to ostomy, including wounds or rashes. We can also refit appliances.
Outpatient ostomy care appointments are available on a weekly basis. In addition, we offer an ostomy education class twice a month for patients prior to their surgery. For more information, please call 540-266-5841.
HYPERBARIC OXYGEN TREATMENT
When wounds do not respond to general wound healing treatments, hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy is an effective supplemental treatment option. HBO therapy requires daily visits to the wound healing center for three to fourweeks and subsequent follow-up care. Patients undergoing HBO therapy are placed in a pressurized chamber where they breathe 100 percent oxygen. This environment increases the amount of oxygen in the wound, which helps heal it, encourages the growth of new tissue, and fight off infection. HBOT also stimulates the growth of new blood vessels, improving circulation and aiding the growth of new tissue.
In combination with other medical treatments, we use HBOT to treat a variety of conditions, including:
- Wounds that have not healed in several weeks
- Crush injuries
- Necrotizing (flesh eating') soft tissue infections
- Osteomyelitis (bone infection)
- Radiation tissue damage
- Skin grafts and flaps
- Diabetic wounds of the lower extremity
- Acute traumatic injury
Once inside the chamber, you will be comfortably positioned, the pressure will gradually increase, and the temperature will temporarily rise. You may experience a sensation of fullness in your ears (similar to the feeling of pressure when flying in an airplane or driving in a mountainous area) as your ears adjust to pressure changes. Your technician will give you tips on how to relieve this pressure before your treatment begins. Most treatments last about two hours, during which time you can watch TV, relax, or even sleep.
DIABETES WOUND CARE
Diabetes affects many body systems, including the nerves, blood vessels, muscles, and immune system-making a person with diabetes more likely to get an infection (especially a foot infection) followed by a wound. Wound prevention is critical when you have diabetes, because wounds-especially foot wounds-can be very difficult to heal.
CHRONIC NON-HEALING WOUNDS
The three most common chronic non-healing wounds are pressure ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, and venous leg wounds.
Diabetic foot ulcers are one of the major complications of diabetes mellitus, which affects the body's nerves, blood vessels, muscles, and immune system, and makes a foot infection more likely. Once a foot wound starts it can be difficult to heal, so prevention is very important.
At Carilion's Wound Healing Center, our treatment options for diabetic wounds or ulcers, especially those involving the feet, include lab studies and X-rays, antibiotics, dressing or ointment applications, physical therapy, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy as needed.
Learn more information regarding diabetic foot ulcers and home care.
Pressure ulcers are areas of skin that are damaged or break down when you stay in one position for too long without shifting your weight. The constant pressure against the skin reduces the blood supply to that area, causing the tissue to die. This often happens with patients who use a wheelchair or are bedridden and can't move themselves because of illness or injury. The most common places for pressure ulcers are over bony areas like elbows, heels, hips, ankles, and shoulders.
Learn more information about what to ask your doctor about pressure ulcers.
Venous leg wounds can be caused by a variety of diseases, but are most commonly related to venous disease. When veins are damaged, blood can collect in the legs, causing swelling and the skin on the legs to become discolored. Another common cause of leg wounds is arterial disease, which makes wound healing harder because blood flow to the wound is reduced.