Wound Care

Our plastic and reconstructive surgeon offers surgical and nonsurgical therapies for complex wounds. Specialized procedures can help when wounds are difficult to heal, restrict movement, cause a loss of skin sensation or affect your appearance.

At Faith Regional Physician Services in Norfolk, Nebraska, our plastic and reconstructive surgeon cares for many types of wounds. We treat ulcers, pressure sores, surgical wounds, burns, traumatic wounds, and other challenging conditions.

Plastic and reconstructive surgeons use sophisticated techniques to encourage healing and minimize scarring. Wound care therapies include strategic incision and wound closure techniques. You can schedule a free consultation with a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon for wound evaluation and personalized care recommendations. 

How Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Helps

Advanced age, being confined to a bed or chair, and diseases such as diabetes, circulatory disorders, or cancer can increase your risk of open or hard-to-heal wounds. Wounds are often painful. They may tighten or bind joints, restricting your range of motion.

Without expert closure, wounds can heal in a way that leaves unsightly scars. Plastic and reconstructive surgeons help with these and other problems. At Faith Regional, your doctor will develop a tailored plan for you.  

Surgical Wound Treatments

Faith Regional’s plastic and reconstructive surgeon offer the latest therapies for difficult wounds. For any wound, your surgeon will use meticulous incision and wound closure methods. Your doctor will also recommend ways to reduce or improve the appearance of scars.

Your treatment plan may include cross-specialty coordination and care for any related conditions. More complicated wounds may require multiple surgeries and specialized care.

Wound contractures sometimes appear if you’ve lost a large amount of tissue to burns or other trauma. They can form when the skin and underlying tissues pull together as an injury heals. If contractures form when a wound crosses a joint, it can make it difficult to move. Your surgeon can make incisions or take other steps to relieve tightness.

Other surgical therapies include:

  • Bio-engineered tissues – Sometimes used to cover large wounds from severe burns or trauma as a skin grafting alternative
  • Flap surgery – Transfer of skin or fatty tissue and muscle with blood supply intact
  • Microsurgery – To reconnect tiny blood vessels, nerves, and other tissues and restore circulation
  • Nerve decompression – Surgical incision in a nerve to release painful pressure
  • Scar revision surgery – May remove or improve more complex or deep scars using advanced wound-closure techniques to make scars less prominent
  • Skin grafts – Transplantation of tissue from healthy skin to wounded area
  • Surgical debridement – Cleans deep or traumatic wounds that may contain foreign material such as sand, glass, or debris

Nonsurgical Wound Treatments

Post-surgical wound care is an important part of wound healing. This promotes healing, reduces scarring, minimizes pain or discomfort, and lowers infection risk. 

Your surgeon will develop and oversee your care plan. This includes cleaning wounds, debriding, and regularly changing dressings treated with moisturizing saline. Frequent dressing changes gently remove dead or injured tissues and protect wounds. There are many types of dressings and wound care products. Your doctor will select the ideal options for your condition.

Risks of Wound Care Surgery

The doctor will discuss the benefits and risks of your procedure. Any surgery has some risks, such as bleeding, infection, and reaction to anesthesia. The doctor will discuss your condition and preventive steps to help avoid these and other potential complications:

  • Blood clots
  • Bruising and blood collection (hematoma)
  • Death of fatty tissues deep in the skin (fat necrosis)
  • Fluid accumulation (seroma)
  • Loose or discolored skin
  • Persistent discomfort or swelling
  • Poor healing of incisions
  • Results not as expected
  • Skin loss
  • Skin sensation changes (numbness or pain)

Preparing for a Wound Care Procedure

If you’re scheduled for surgery, your doctor will tell you what to expect. Preparation typically includes:

  • Lab tests, medical and wound evaluation
  • Assessment and management of health conditions
  • Medication review and adjustment   
  • Instructions to stop smoking
  • Details about your procedure, including incisions and anesthesia
  • Information about recovery and follow-up care

Steps of Wound Care Surgery

Your surgeon will discuss the specifics of your procedure. Surgery may involve the following steps:

  • Your doctor may prescribe certain medications for you to take before surgery.
  • The surgeon will discuss anesthesia in pre-surgery visits. You may have IV sedation or general anesthesia, so you’ll sleep through the procedure.
  • The treatment area is carefully cleaned. Steps and treatments depend on the type, size, location, and severity of the wound. Some conditions require just one treatment. For other wounds, your surgeon may recommend multiple procedures to achieve your best results.
  • The surgeon may make an incision to remove deep, older scars or reshape raised or ragged wound edges.
  • The doctor may apply topical gels, tapes, compression bandages, or other treatments to help with closing and healing wounds.
  • For certain conditions, the surgeon may use advanced tissue-removal and layered closure techniques. Surgeons sometimes use bio-engineered tissue substitutes when there isn’t enough tissue to cover large areas of wounded skin. Your surgeon will discuss this during pre-surgery visits.
  • Once incisions are closed the surgeon adds protective gauze or bandages.

After Wound Care Surgery 

Your surgeon will inform you about the recovery processes, how long it may take, and follow-up care. It’s essential to keep skin clean and healthy to promote healing. Your doctor will review proper wound care practices.

  • You’ll have some soreness, swelling, redness, and discomfort.
  • Your wound will be packed with moistened gauze or other wound dressing. A healthcare practitioner will routinely change and replace the dressing.
  • Your nurse or another specialist will perform regular debridement, which keeps the wound clean and healthy.
  • The doctor discusses medications and therapies, home and follow-up care, and when you can resume normal activities.
  • Your surgeon may discuss additional procedures and treatments.

For safe and successful healing, it’s important to follow your surgeon’s instructions. The doctor will tell you about normal healing and warning signs of infection. Report any unusual symptoms right away. You’ll have 24/7 contact information.

Your Reconstructive Surgery Team

At Faith Regional, your plastic and reconstructive surgeon, a specialized nurse, and other healthcare professionals such as an advanced care practitioner may be involved in your care.

Schedule a Consultation

You can reach us at (402) 844-8770, frpsclinics@frhs.org, or online to schedule an appointment.