Treating Your Wound: What to Expect
Evaluating the wound
When you visit a doctor for wound care, there will probably be an evaluation to go over your medical history, cause of the non-healing wound and your recovery plans. If you don’t know the cause of your wound, they will probably run tests to find out if it’s caused by diabetes, venous insufficiency, cardiovascular disease, or anything else. When your doctor knows the root cause of your wound, they’ll know the best treatment for it.
In order for an open wound to begin healing, any necrotic or dead tissue must be removed from the wound site. This process is called wound debridement. Once tissue begins to die, antibiotics no longer reach it, which impedes the healing of the rest of the wound. Dead tissue can be hiding underlying abscesses or fluid collections as well. Debriding the wound will stimulate the wound, preparing it to heal, since non-repairable tissue will no longer be in the way. Once that tissue is gone, your doctor can begin to give you antibiotics and regenerative medications that will be much more effective than they were pre-debridement.
If your wound is infected
Wound infection is quite common in chronic wounds. While infection makes wound treatment more difficult, it can still be treated. Your doctor may remove some of the affected tissue to find out the strain of bacteria infecting the wound in order to give you the most effective antibiotic for it. If it isn’t a bacteria infecting your wound, it may be a fungal infection, which may be treated with antifungal creams or pills.
Your wound begins to heal
Once your wound begins to heal, you may not see any point in continuing treatment from your doctor. Be sure to keep your appointments, though! It’s important that your doctor monitors your wound to be sure it’s healing correctly and to address any complications that may arise. After your wound is fully healed, they’ll probably still suggest regular visits for preventative care, especially if you have diabetes.