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Complex wounds: an overview

Wound healing typically occurs in four stages: hemostasis, inflammation, proliferation, and remodeling. During hemostasis, blood vessels constrict to minimize bleeding, and platelets form clots to seal the wound. Subsequently, the inflammatory phase involves immune cells clearing debris and initiating tissue repair. Next, proliferation sees the formation of new blood vessels and the growth of granulation tissue to fill the wound gap. Finally, remodeling occurs as collagen fibers reorganize, strengthening the healed tissue.

However, certain factors can disrupt this progression, leading to complex wounds. These wounds often result from underlying medical conditions like diabetes, vascular disease, or immune disorders, impairing the body’s ability to heal properly. Additionally, factors such as infection, poor circulation, and repeated trauma can complicate the healing process, resulting in non-healing wounds. These complex wounds demand specialized attention and treatment strategies to facilitate healing and prevent complications and infections. Contact us for tailored treatment and advanced strategies for complex wound care in St. Louis.

Person receiving wound care in St. Louis

Potential symptoms of complex wounds:

  • Persistent pain or discomfort at the wound site
  • Delayed or stalled healing despite appropriate treatment
  • Increased redness, warmth, or swelling around the wound
  • Foul-smelling drainage or pus from the wound
  • Development of necrotic tissue (black or brown in color)
  • Formation of sinus tracts or tunnels beneath the skin surface
  • Recurrent infections or wound breakdown
  • Difficulty controlling blood sugar levels in diabetic patients
  • Decreased sensation or numbness in the surrounding area
  • Visible signs of underlying vascular or immune system disorders
  • Compromised mobility or functionality due to wound location or severity

Some of the most common types of complex wounds:

  • Diabetic Wounds: Diabetic wounds, often occurring on the feet or lower extremities, result from impaired circulation and neuropathy associated with diabetes. Diabetic wounds are prone to infection and slow healing, increasing the risk of ulcers and gangrene.
  • Venous Wounds: Venous wounds, also known as venous ulcers or stasis ulcers, typically develop on the lower legs due to venous insufficiency. Venous wounds often present as shallow, irregularly shaped ulcers with surrounding edema.
  • Arterial Wounds: Arterial wounds stem from compromised blood flow caused by arterial disease, such as atherosclerosis or peripheral artery disease (PAD). Arterial wounds typically occur on the feet or lower legs and present as deep, painful ulcers with well-defined borders.
  • Pressure Injuries: Pressure injuries develop when prolonged pressure or friction damages the skin and underlying tissue, typically over bony prominences. Pressure injuries are particularly common in individuals with limited mobility, such as elderly or bedridden patients.

Personalized treatments for non-healing wounds at SVSS

At SVSS, we understand that non-healing wounds require personalized care. Led by Dr. Hacker, our team is dedicated to providing comprehensive wound care in St. Louis to promote healing and restore function. When you come to us with an acute wound, burn, or concern for limb preservation, Dr. Hacker will meet with you to conduct a thorough evaluation.

Dr. Hacker will administer cutting-edge diagnostic tests to assess blood flow, tissue viability, and any underlying conditions that prevent the wound from healing. Following evaluation, Dr. Hacker will collaborate with you to develop a treatment plan aimed at addressing the factors hindering wound healing. Whether it involves advanced wound care techniques, wound debridement, surgical interventions, or adjunct therapies, your treatment plan will be tailored to optimize healing.

Doctor planning wound care in St. Louis

Schedule your consultation with Dr. Hacker

St. Louis Vascular Surgical Specialists, led by Dr. Robert Hacker, offers unparalleled expertise in wound care. As a double board-certified surgeon with numerous academic publications, Dr. Hacker has the keen skills, experience, and insight needed to successfully identify and treat the root cause of your complex wounds. Furthermore, Dr. Hacker offers personalized attention to each patient, ensuring they feel less like a patient and more like an extended member of the family. Please schedule your consultation today to explore your options for wound care in St. Louis.

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