Each day millions of people receive some type of wound therapy after a surgery or an injury. To help with that recovery, health experts at Lee Memorial Health System are using a popular device that helps patients recover faster and safer. It’s called a negative pressure wound therapy. It works much like a vacuum seal. After foam is placed inside the wound, a vacuum assisted closure is placed on top. Once the machine is turned on, the wound is slowly pulled together.
“It helps bring the wound edges together. It helps remove the drainage. It controls any swelling inside the wound, stimulates the formation of granulation tissue which speeds up the entire wound healing process” said Marcus Scharre, a wound care supervisor with Lee Memorial Health System.
The device is used on more than six million wounds nationwide.
“Larger wounds can take a significant time to heal, so this speeds it up big time” said Scharre.
Negative wound pressure therapy is used on wounds that are too large or too deep for stitches or staples. Typically, patients wear the device for six to eight weeks.
“They’re used on a lot of different wounds” said Scharre. “Acute wounds, chronic wounds, surgical incisions, pressure ulcers, things like that.”
Before negative wound pressure therapy, health experts commonly used a system called wet to dry where they changed the patient’s dressing every day. With negative pressure wound therapy, the dressing is only changed three times a week.
When a patient leaves the hospital, they transition to a smaller, more portable wound vac. This allows patients to leave the hospital sooner while still receiving the treatment they need. The negative pressure wound therapy lowers the risk for infection by offering a quicker and safer wound closure.
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Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we’ve been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries.