Help! I Have a Wound That Won't Heal — What Are My Options?

A non-healing wound — whether from trauma, surgery, or an underlying health condition — is an open door for countless threats to enter your body and wreak havoc. But closing that door and caring for your wound takes more than just a bandage; it takes careful evaluation and treatment from our experts at Advanced Vascular Solutions in Sebastian, Florida. 

Here's everything you should know about wounds that won't heal and what we do about them. 

Why won't my wound heal?

We generally define a non-healing wound as a wound that hasn't begun healing after two weeks and hasn't fully healed within six weeks. Once you've hit the six-week mark and you're still dealing with a wound, we look for underlying health conditions and other problems. Usually, we can blame at least one of these five common causes:

You're also at an increased risk if you have diabetes, heart issues, a weak immune system, and/or a history of ulcers. Unhealthy habits, such as smoking or living a sedentary lifestyle, can also contribute to slow- or non-healing wounds. 

When is it time to call the doctor?

It can be tempting to skip the doctor and take the wait-and-see approach, but with an open wound, it's best to let our experts take a look. If you don't get help soon enough, you can develop a severe infection that spreads to other parts of your body, as well as permanent damage and scarring at the wound site. 

Make an appointment with us at the first sign that your wound isn't healing well, especially if you notice these symptoms:

A foul smell from your wound is another telltale sign that it's time to get help. 

What are my wound care options?

Before we create a customized wound care plan, our team reviews your symptoms, medical history, and other aspects of your health to uncover exactly what's causing your wound not to heal. Understanding the underlying cause is a crucial component of being able to care for and treat a wound effectively. 

During this initial evaluation, we ask detailed questions about your wound and thoroughly examine it. Sometimes, we order diagnostic imaging tests, such as vascular ultrasound, to assess circulation or nerve conduction to uncover potential nerve damage. Simple bloodwork or tissue sampling can also help us rule out infections. 

Fortunately, you have wound care options, especially in the earliest stages. 

We begin treating virtually every wound we see by removing dead tissue (debridement) and cleaning and dressing it. This process protects you from infection and gives your body a chance to start the healing process. 

You should never try to remove dead tissue and clean a slow-healing wound on your own. Doing so may increase your risk for complications. Always seek a medical professional's help for this first step. 

With your wound clean and free from dead tissue, we may recommend additional treatments to help you heal completely. Here's a closer look at the treatments we recommend most often. 

Wound vac

A wound vac is a process that creates negative pressure around your wound to improve circulation. It also helps us remove more debris and fluid from the wound. 

Skin grafts

Skin grafts allow us to use healthy skin tissue to repair damage from large wounds with very little chance of healing. 

What else can I do to help my wound heal?

If you want to take your wound-care treatments a step further, there are a few things you can do. Consider these lifestyle habits for better wound healing:

Suspect you have a wound that needs help healing? Don't hesitate to request an appointment online or over the phone at our Sebastian, Florida, office today. 

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