Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Medicine

If you or a loved one has a wound or an ulcer that has not started to heal within a month or has not healed entirely in two months, you may have what is referred to as a “chronic” or “non-healing” wound.

There are many factors that can cause a wound to become chronic and there are many types of wounds. Some wounds are associated with complications from diabetes or poor circulation. Other types result from pressure ulcers and trauma. Chronic, non-healing wounds can have serious health consequences and may adversely affect your quality of life.

Our center has a proven track record for healing wounds with a better than 90 percent success rate. For an appointment call 732.453.2915 or fax 732.453.2918. Our Center is now located on the main floor of RWJ Rahway, 865 Stone Street, Rahway, NJ.

What is a Chronic Wound?

A wound that fails to respond to treatment after four weeks or has not healed entirely in two months. Often complicated by underlying conditions such as diabetes, circulation problems or previous cancer treatment, the simplest of wounds can turn into a significant problem because the body’s normal healing process is affected. Other types of chronic wounds result from pressure ulcers, trauma or infection. Chronic, non-healing wounds can have serious health consequences and may adversely affect your quality of life.

Comprehensive Wound Care

A comprehensive wound center provides care to those suffering from chronic wounds in a way no other provider can. Some wounds require advanced dressings or extensive treatments that are difficult to provide in a private office setting. And complex wounds may require multiple additional therapies or experienced wound nurses to provide specialized care. Before comprehensive wound centers, a patient with a chronic wound was shuffled from one health care provider to another in order to receive the necessary, specialized care. Now, all of your wound management is in one place:

  • Compression therapy
  • Diabetic foot management
  • Biologic skin substitutes
  • Edema management
  • Labs, imaging and scans
  • Coordination of dietary and diabetes education services
  • Wound care education
  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
  • Off-loading (taking pressure off the wound)
  • Sharp debridement (removal of dead tissue)
  • Specialty dressings that promote healing
  • and limit the potential for infection
  • Topical prescription medications
  • Vascular studies

Our center is staffed by a team of experienced wound care specialists who will customize the most effective treatment plan to stimulate healing, returning you to your life as quickly as possible.

Multidisciplinary Panel

A multidisciplinary team of doctors can best treat the patients seen at our comprehensive wound center. Our center includes podiatrists, vascular specialists, infectious disease experts and internal medicine physicians and nurse specialists/ educators – each dedicated to providing the most advance care.

Wound Types
Certain kinds of wounds can take a long time to heal and require specialized care. If your wound has not responded to conventional therapy, our Wound Care Center can help!

  • Arterial ulcers
  • Burns (varies by location)
  • Brown recluse spider bites
    (mid-west and southern regions)
  • Compromised skin flaps and grafts
  • Crush injuries
  • Diabetic ulcers
  • Infected wounds
  • Ischemic ulcers
  • Metabolic wounds
  • Necrotizing infections
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Radiation injury
  • Surgical dehiscence
  • Vascular wounds
  • Venous ulcers

Advanced Dressings, Applied by the Experts
Some wounds require advanced dressings that are difficult to provide in a private office setting. And the choice of dressing can impact healing – having the right dressing for the wound, properly applied can make all the difference in healing. Our physicians and nurses have had advanced wound care training and receive ongoing education in the fast-evolving field of specialized wound dressings. But it’s their everyday experience caring for complex wounds that sets them apart.

Advanced Therapies, including Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Hyperbaric Oxygen (HBO) Therapy is a treatment in which the patient breathes 100% pure oxygen while inside a pressurized chamber. The air pressure inside a hyperbaric oxygen chamber is about two and a half times greater than the normal pressure in the atmosphere. This “hyperbaric” (or high pressure) dose of oxygen helps your blood carry more oxygen to your organs and connective tissues to promote wound healing. It also activates the white blood cells to fight infection.

HBO can be the primary treatment or it can be used in combination with other treatments. HBO therapy is an outpatient procedure that is provided once daily, for approximately four to six weeks. One treatment takes about two hours and is quite comfortable for most patients.

Approved indications for hyperbaric oxygen therapy include:

  • Diabetic wound of the lower extremity
  • Chronic refractory osteomyelitis (chronic bone infection)
  • Osteoradionecrosis (late side effect of radiation – bone)
  • Soft tissue radionecrosis (late side effect of radiation – soft tissue)
  • Compromised skin grafts and flaps
  • Acute peripheral arterial insufficiency
  • Acute traumatic peripheral ischemia
  • Progressive necrotizing infections
  • Crush injuries and suturing of severed limbs (acute)
  • Gas gangrene (acute)
  • Gas embolism
  • Acute carbon monoxide intoxication
  • Actinomycosis

What Can a Patient Expect?

The course of treatment depends on what type of wound you have. During your first visit, our staff of physicians and nurses will evaluate your wound and review your medical history. You may also need special tests that give us information about circulation to the wound. This will then help to determine what course of treatment you will need.

Treatments may include:

  • Tests of circulation
  • X-rays
  • Antibiotic therapy
  • Pressure relieving devices
  • Special dressings
  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
  • Lab work
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Education on wound prevention

Our treatment plans are designed to complement the care your own physician provides, ensuring that your health care team is always working together to provide the treatment that’s right for you. Most treatments are covered by Medicare/Medicaid, HMOs and other private insurance plans. Some things you can do to assist with your healing:

  • Care for your wound at home as directed by your health care provider
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Rest according to your health care provider’s instructions
  • Take medication as ordered
  • Stop smoking
  • Return for your follow up appointments

Once a treatment plan has been prescribed, you will visit the wound center on a regular basis for specialized treatments and documentation of your healing progress. Keeping appointments and following directions are critical to attaining a positive healing outcome.

Commitment to and compliance with your plan of care is the single most important factor in your healing.

And always call your wound care doctor if you notice any of the following:

  • Increasing redness around the wound
  • Warm or red skin
  • A red streak spreading from the wound
  • An increase in wound drainage

To prepare for hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO):

Treatments normally last about two hours. A staff member will tell you how many treatments you will need. During your treatment, you may watch television, a movie or take a nap.

You will be given a 100% cotton clothing to wear in the chamber. No cosmetics, perfumes, hair preparations, deodorants, wigs, jewelry or electronic devices are allowed in the chamber (most pacemakers are allowed in the chamber). The hyperbaric technologist will need to know if you are taking any medications, including non-prescription drugs. You are advised not to drink alcohol or carbonated beverages for four hours prior to treatment.

Smoking and the use of tobacco products interferes with the body’s ability to transport oxygen. Therefore, your doctor will work with you on techniques to help stop smoking during the treatment period.

Patient Stories

  • “I realized this is not going to kill you, this is not going to beat you. They always gave me that positive push.”

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  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy delivered pure oxygen to a man's organs and connective tissues to promote wound healing.

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  • “When you have wonderful people to take care of you, it makes the process so much easier."

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Patient Stories

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