What is a wound care specialist?
A wound care specialist is a healthcare provider who focuses on evaluating and treating non-healing wounds. You may see a wound care specialist in addition to your primary care physician or home healthcare provider until your wound is healed. Wound care specialists are covered by most insurance plans and often do not require a referral.
Why should I see a wound care specialist?
These specialists can help patients determine the best treatment for their DFU. When conventional treatments such as dressings and ointments are not enough to heal a wound, they have access to the most up-to-date wound care technology and the training to use it.
Talk to your doctor to learn if you should see a wound care specialist. Click here to download a printable version (PDF) of questions to ask your doctor if you have a diabetic foot ulcer.
Your First Appointment
Most likely you were referred to the Center for Wound Healing by your primary care physician, and then given an appointment. During your first visit, you will undergo a thorough diagnostic examination to identify the type of wound you have and the underlying problems causing the wound. The initial appointment consists of a full assessment to determine the appropriate classification and size of the wound, your overall health status and ability to comply with needed therapies.
Based on the evaluation, your customized treatment plan is developed to optimize the therapies best suited to address your needs. Wound size and depth are documented at the initial visit, and again at each subsequent visit. Some of the diagnostic modalities which may be used include:
- Laboratory evaluation
- Radiology (including MRI)
- Transcutaneous oxygen testing
- Vascular studies, electrocardiogram
After this determination, a program specifically tailored to your needs will be initiated based on the most effective treatment options. An interdisciplinary approach will be used to provide the maximum healing possible. Specialized wound care and hyperbaric oxygen therapy are usually administered on an outpatient basis. You are free to drive yourself to the center for therapy, and you should plan two-and-a-half to three hours for each visit.
Receiving Specialized Wound Care
Once a treatment plan has been initiated, you will visit the center on a regular basis for specialized treatments and documentation of the progress of your healing. You will also be fully instructed on how to do your own wound care at home between visits, as well as how to protect your wound from further injury. It is very important to remember that you are the most important part of your healing process. Keeping appointments and following directions are critical to attaining a positive healing outcome.