If you are not familiar with the term wound vac, you are not alone. Many people are unaware of this technique for treating chronic and acute wounds. Another name for wound vac is Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT). Basically, this type of treatment helps a wound heal by applying a vacuum through a special sealed dressing. The purpose of the vacuum is to draw the fluid out of the wound and increase blood flow to the area. It used to treat wounds that are difficult to heal on their own.
How Does It Work?
There are three different techniques available with wound vac treatment. Each one involves a different type of dressing. The type of dressing used is dependent upon the type of wound and the objective when treating it.
The first technique involves using a foam dressing. A foam dressing is cut to size to fill an open cavity wound. A film is draped over the foam to create a seal around the dressing. This is then connected to a vacuum pump with a drainage tube. Excess fluids are pumped out of the wound and a moist, healing environment is created.
Another technique involves the use of cotton gauze instead of foam. The cotton gauze is covered by a transparent film and draped over the wound. This creates a seal and the fluids are pumped out in a similar fashion as with the foam dressing.
Non-woven polyester along with a silicon elastomer create a honeycombed textile dressing that can also be used in this treatment.
Depending on the device used, type of dressing, and wound that needs treating, the pressure that is applied can be continuous or intermittent. The length of time for the treatment to be effective varies on the type of wound involved. However, most wounds are healed after anywhere from six weeks, to 16 to 20 weeks for larger chronic wounds.
Who is a Good Candidate for this Type of Wound Therapy?
Anyone who suffers from acute or chronic wounds, or has experienced second or third-degree burns is a potential candidate for negative pressure wound therapy. NPWT is often used to treat advanced bed sores. In patients with bed sores, the use of wound vacs has been proven to help them heal faster and reduce the number of infections.
Those suffering from diabetic ulcers are also potential candidates for wound vac therapy. Currently, diabetic ulcers are the leading cause of foot and leg amputations in the US. This is because of infections that often set in. Wound vac treatment can reduce the chances of these infections, and potentially save someone from having an amputation.
Pressure ulcers are often found in patients who are unconscious or paralyzed and unaware that they need repositioning. This type of chronic wound can also be treated with negative pressure wound therapy. Venous stasis ulcers that are the result of hypoxia can also be treated this way.
Advantages Over Other Possible Treatments
Most treatments for chronic wounds involve a lengthy stay in the hospital. This time can be reduced by using wound vac care because it helps to promote wound closure. If the wound heals quickly, the patient can return to normal activities sooner. Negative pressure wound therapy is also an option with less pain and discomfort for the patient than other possible treatments. And the wound vac success rate is very high.
Wound vac treatment also reduces the risk of an infection versus other forms of treatment. Because wound vac dressing change is only needed every 48 hours, there is less risk of exposure. Other treatments may need to be changed out as much as twice daily.
Schedule an Appointment
Bed sores, second and third-degree burns, ulcers, and other chronic sores can be extremely dangerous if not treated properly. Infections can set in creating a more serious situation than before. People who have these types of wounds should seek medical care and treatment immediately.
At the DFW Wound Care Center, Dr. Reza Mobarak and his team provide advanced solutions and cutting-edge medical techniques for treating chronic and acute wounds. With locations in Irving, Lewisville, and Plano, the team at DFW Wound Care delivers top-notch orthopedic services. Call us today at (972) 665-6292 or visit any of our offices for a free consultation.