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Wound Care at Houston Vein and Vascular

At Houston Vein and Vascular, we understand the complexity of chronic wounds and how they can significantly impact your life. Led by Dr. Mehrzad Zarghouni, a board-certified vascular specialist and former Wound Care Director at Memorial Hermann, our clinic stands as a beacon of specialized care in Houston. Our highly experienced team is committed to delivering exceptional care, using advanced technology and personalized treatment plans to accelerate your healing process.

Wound Care at Houston Vein and Vascular

Wounds 101: Conditions We Treat

Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) are serious complications of diabetes mellitus, characterized by open wounds on the feet. They can lead to severe infections and, in extreme cases, amputation if not promptly and effectively treated. Knowledge of the causes, symptoms, and proper wound care techniques is essential for individuals living with diabetes to prevent and manage DFUs.

DFUs typically develop due to a combination of factors, including neuropathy (nerve damage), peripheral artery disease (PAD), and impaired wound healing associated with diabetes. Symptoms may include persistent pain, redness, warmth, swelling, and drainage from the wound.

Diagnosis and Treatment: Diagnosis of DFUs involves a thorough examination of the foot, including assessment of sensation, blood flow, and wound characteristics. Treatment strategies aim to promote wound healing, prevent infection, and address underlying risk factors. These may include:

  1. Wound Debridement: Removal of dead or infected tissue from the wound to promote healing.

  2. Offloading: Relieving pressure from the affected area using specialized footwear, casts, or orthotic devices.

  3. Infection Control: Antibiotics may be prescribed if an infection is present or suspected.

  4. Blood Sugar Control: Tight glycemic control is essential to promote wound healing and prevent complications.

  5. Foot Care Education: Proper foot hygiene and regular inspection of the feet to identify any signs of injury or infection.

  6. Wound Dressings: Application of appropriate dressings to maintain a moist wound environment and protect the ulcer from further damage.

  7. Vascular Evaluation: Assessment of blood flow in the legs to identify and address any underlying circulation issues.

A diabetic foot ulcer treated at houston vein and vascular

Venous Leg Ulcers

Venous ulcers are debilitating wounds that develop due to chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), a condition where the veins in the legs fail to efficiently return blood to the heart. These ulcers, typically located on the lower legs, can significantly impact an individual's quality of life if left untreated. Knowledge of their causes, symptoms, and proper wound care is essential for managing venous ulcers effectively.

Venous ulcers arise from prolonged venous hypertension and impaired blood flow caused by CVI. Common symptoms include swelling, skin discoloration, pain, and the development of open wounds, particularly around the ankles.

Diagnosis and Treatment: Diagnosis involves a medical history review, physical examination, and often imaging tests like duplex ultrasound. Treatment strategies for venous ulcers focus on improving venous circulation, promoting wound healing, and preventing recurrence through:

  1. Compression Therapy: Using compression stockings or bandages to reduce swelling and improve blood flow.

  2. Elevation: Elevating the legs above heart level when possible to reduce swelling and improve circulation.

  3. Wound Care: Proper wound cleaning, dressing, and the application of moisture-retentive dressings to facilitate healing.

  4. Exercise: Regular physical activity to enhance circulation and muscle tone in the legs.

  5. Nutrition: A balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals to support wound healing and overall vascular health.

venous ulcer treated at houston vein and vascular
arterial ulcer wound treated at houston vein and vascular

Arterial ulcers are open wounds that develop on the skin due to reduced blood flow caused by Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). These ulcers, commonly found on the lower extremities, pose serious health risks if not properly managed. Understanding their causes, symptoms, and appropriate wound care is crucial for individuals with PAD.

Causes and Symptoms: Arterial ulcers result from poor circulation due to arterial blockages in PAD. Symptoms include pain, skin discoloration, slow healing, and characteristic ulcer appearance with well-defined edges.

Diagnosis and Treatment: Diagnosis involves medical history review, physical examination, and diagnostic tests like Doppler ultrasound. Treatment aims to improve circulation, promote healing, and prevent complications through:

  1. Lifestyle Changes: Quitting smoking, managing diabetes and hypertension, and adopting a healthy lifestyle.

  2. Medications: Prescribed medications like antiplatelet agents and statins to manage underlying conditions.

  3. Wound Care: Proper cleaning, dressing, and offloading pressure from the ulcerated area to facilitate healing.

  4. Revascularization: Surgical interventions like angioplasty or bypass surgery to restore blood flow in severe cases.

 

 

Pressure Ulcers

 

Also known as bedsores, these result from prolonged pressure on the skin.

 

Treatment Approaches:

  • Position Change: Regular repositioning to relieve pressure.

  • Special Mattresses: Use of pressure-relieving devices.

Surgical Wounds

Incisions made during surgery that are taking longer to heal than expected.

Treatment Approaches:

  • Infection Control: Antibiotics and sterile dressings.

  • Monitoring: Regular checks to assess healing and rule out complications.

 

Traumatic Wounds

Cuts, lacerations, or puncture wounds usually caused by accidents or injuries.

Treatment Approaches:

  • Immediate Care: Stitches or staples for wound closure.

  • Tetanus Shots: For contaminated wounds.

Arterial Ulcers

Understanding Our Approach: The Wound Care Process

Step 1: The Initial Examination

What happens during your first visit? Dr. Zarghouni and our team will thoroughly examine your wound and may conduct tests like X-rays or MRIs to understand the root cause of the problem.

Step 2: Tailored Treatment Plan

After diagnosing the type and cause of your wound, we'll develop a personalized treatment plan. This could range from specialized dressings and medications to minor surgical procedures.

Step 3: Monitoring and Updates

You’ll return for regular follow-ups, where we'll measure the wound, check for signs of infection, and adjust your treatment as needed.

FAQs: What Patients Often Ask Us

How Long Does Healing Take?

Healing times vary. Factors like your overall health, the size and type of the wound, and how well you follow the treatment plan play a big role.

Is My Treatment Covered by Insurance?

Most wound care services are covered by insurance, but it’s always a good idea to check with your provider for details specific to your plan.

Do I Need a Referral?

While referrals can expedite the process, they are not always necessary. You can call us directly to schedule an appointment.

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