Chronic wounds are often associated with diabetes or older patients, but they can affect many other people as well. For 54-year-old Michael Taylor, problems with ulcers on his leg began with an injury in high school, while he was weightlifting.
“When I would do curls, I was supposed to hold the weight and let it burn,” he says, explaining that he would then let the weight drop, and it would hit him on his leg. “The constant pressure of hitting my leg started a blood clot,” he says.
He recalls that his thigh swelled up until it was “about as big around as a watermelon.” He received treatment and thought the problem was resolved, but soon after he developed an ulcer on his ankle. “I had to get a tutor and couldn’t go back to school. It was tough,” Taylor says.
For the next three decades, Taylor continued to struggle with swelling and chronic wounds on his leg. He sought help at different places before he was referred to the Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine at Wellington Regional Medical Center.
“The care at our center is uniquely tailored to each individual and addresses the multiple factors that contribute to delayed healing," says Podiatrist Elizabeth Davis, DPM, who is board certified by the American Board of Wound Management.
A multidisciplinary team of physicians, specialized nursing staff and physical therapists offer advanced treatments that can only be found in specialty facilities, such as skin grafting, which Taylor received as part of his comprehensive care.
Taylor also visited the wound center regularly to have his wound debrided (which involves removing unhealthy tissue), and he received treatment to address an issue he was having with his circulation, which is vital to healing.
Medical Director of Interventional Radiology Juan Gomez, MD, explains that Taylor had severe, chronic venous insufficiency. This condition occurs when valves in the veins don’t work properly, causing blood to go back down in the legs and pool.
To treat this problem, Dr. Gomez performed a minimally invasive procedure called radiofrequency ablation to close up the diseased vein, so that blood flow was redirected to a healthier vessel. The procedure took about 20 minutes, and Taylor was able to return to daily activities immediately, Dr. Gomez says.
Additionally, Taylor received compression therapy to help reduce swelling and improve blood flow, and he focused on a healthy diet and quitting smoking. “Michael is representative of how important it is for patients to participate in their care and want to heal,” Dr. Davis says.
She emphasizes that a key part of treatment is the emotional bond that is developed through weekly followup. Clinical specialists become part of patients’ support system, helping them stay on track with their care and celebrating their successes with them.
Having this connection made a difference for Taylor. “She would take more time with me,” he says of his regular visits with Dr. Davis. This dedicated, team approach helped Taylor finally achieve the success he was looking for.
Our wound care program has been recognized!
The Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine at WRMC recently received the Robert A. Warriner III, MD Center of Excellence award for continued excellence in wound healing. This honor is given to wound treatment centers in the Healogics™ network that have met the highest level of quality standards for a minimum of two consecutive years.
WRMC offers specialized wound care for patients with diabetic ulcers, pressure ulcers, infections and other chronic wounds. For select patients, treatment may include hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), which involves lying in a clear, pressurized chamber and inhaling 100 percent oxygen to enhance the body’s natural healing process. WRMC has three hyperbaric chambers and also offers a number of other advanced treatments.
For more information about our services, call 561-753-2680.
Individual results may vary. There are risks associated with any surgical procedure. Talk with your doctor about these risks to find out if minimally invasive surgery is right for you.