Surgical Wounds

What Can Be Done About Surgical Incision Wounds?

Surgical wounds are usually meant to heal on their own, but infections can occur at the surgical incision and opening of the sutures. The office will work closely with the surgeons that patients are using and work toward a quick closure of these surgical wounds. After surgery, a wound can become infected and often the incision will open. When treating these, the infected tissue will be removed surgically and frequently the office will apply the Wound VAC device over the incision, actively draining the wound.

What if the Wound is More Complex?

Complex foot wounds are usually considered to be those with bone exposure. These types of wounds will often require the use of a muscle flap or free flap with a skin graft. For example, a gangrenous foot would be managed with surgical excision of the dead tissues, an ultrasound debridement, and the placement of the Wound VAC device over the bones. This helps to form healthy granulation tissue. A skin graft using a skin substitute will also be required with this type of wound.

How Should I Care For the Wound at Home?

When cleaning and dressing the wound:

  • You should take off any jewelry before changing dressing or clean the wound and wash your hands with soap and water for at least 15 to 30 seconds. Then dry with a clean towel. Begin by loosening the dressing tape, then after putting on gloves remove the dressing. Place the old dressing and gloves in a plastic bag, washing your hands again.
  • Soak gauze or a soft cloth in a saline solution or soapy water, whatever the doctor recommends. Delicately wipe or pat the skin with the gauze, clean the area of any dried blood or drainage. Rinse well and gently pat dry with a new, clean towel.
  • If the doctor prescribes an antibiotic ointment, apply it exactly as told. This can assist to stop infection and minimize the size of the scar. Place a new, clean dressing on the wound. Wash your hands a final time. Double-bag the old dressing, tie up the bag and put it in the garbage.

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