Wound Care Center
Specialized Wound Care
The body's healing process is quite complex. Various factors can disrupt the healing process, leaving some people with sores, wounds or infections that will not heal or are very slow to heal.
A sore that does not respond to standard medical care within 30 days is typically considered a "problem" or "chronic" wound. The variety and complexity of non-healing, chronic wounds presents a particular challenge. These wounds often require intervention by specialists who can apply the most technologically advanced treatments and proven protocols to effectively treat chronic wounds.
The Wound Care Clinic is located within the Heart & Vascular Institute at UnityPoint Health - Meriter. We are proud to offer the region's only comprehensive wound care program led by certified wound care providers. Our team has a proven record of success caring for a vast array of wounds, from simple to very complex, with multi-system involvement.
Our patients range from those experiencing common wounds to those dealing with chronic, non-healing wounds that have resisted healing after months or years of traditional treatment.
Risk Factors for Chronic Wounds
Certain conditions and lifestyles can lead to a higher risk for developing non-healing sores, including:
- Poor circulation
- Neuropathy (abnormal sensation)
- Kidney disease
- Certain medications
- Radiation therapy
- Treatments or diseases that suppress the immune system
Treatments and Therapies
Wound care involves distinct and specialized knowledge of wound management. During your initial consultation, the cause of your wound will be determined and a treatment course will be discussed with you in detail.
Our proven techniques are applied to help you avoid amputation, reduce incidence of recurrence and return to an active life. Our Wound Care Center provides a full range of advanced treatments, including:
- Debridement (removal of dead or damaged tissue)
- Advanced wound dressings
- Bio-engineered tissue substitutes
- Growth factors technologies
- Vacuum-assisted closure of wounds
- Compression therapy
- Nutritional guidance
- Medical and laboratory tests
- Vascular (blood flow) studies
- Patient/family/professional education
- Co-management with a dedicated lymphedema therapist for lymphedema-related wounds
Diabetic Foot Clinic
Foot care is a critical part of treating patients with diabetes, as they are two to five times more likely than other individuals to develop foot problems, such as a diabetic foot ulcer. The multidisciplinary Diabetic Foot Clinic at UnityPoint Health - Meriter is specifically designed to evaluate and manage complex diabetic foot ulcers (sores).
Diabetes can affect nerves in the foot, preventing individuals from feeling injuries and causing deformities of the foot. Diabetes can also lead to reduced blood flow, which can make it more difficult for foot ulcers to heal. For diabetics, minor injuries can become serious infections that, if left untreated, may lead to surgery or amputation. If you have diabetes and a non-healing foot wound or infection, early treatment is crucial. Talk to your doctor or contact the Wound Care Clinic to have your wound evaluated.
With proper treatment, limb amputations are typically avoidable. Our Wound Care specialists consider amputation to be an absolute last resort.
Our highly skilled providers have devoted their education and careers to caring for difficult-to-heal wounds. By emphasizing adequate vascular evaluation, quick intervention when necessary and aggressive wound care, tissue loss and major amputation can generally be prevented.
A Multidisciplinary Approach to Treatment
Your treatment will include a comprehensive examination, including wound cultures, vascular studies and measurement of transcutaneous oxygen tension (TcP02). TcP02 allows us to better determine healing potential, evaluate revascularization procedures and assess the severity and progression of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). We will also review your overall health status to create a comprehensive plan for your wound care.
Our wound care specialists frequently collaborate with experts from other areas of medicine, including vascular surgery, plastic surgery, orthopedic surgery, podiatry, infectious disease, nutrition, physical therapy, pain management, diabetes care and pedorthic (footwear specialist) consultation.
Our patients are cared for by our fully accredited vascular laboratory and our team of experts. Ifat Kamin, MD, FAPWCA, Laura E. Brown, MS, PA-C, WCC, DWC and Michele Wiese, APNP-C, CWS treat all wounds, including acute, chronic, post-surgical, post-radiation, reconstructive, burns and other problematic wounds. The goal is to improve their patients' quality of life by treating the wound and, most importantly, the wound's underlying cause.
Appointments and Insurance
The Wound Care Center accepts patients without a physician referral. However, some insurance plans require a physician referral. Always check with your insurance prior to scheduling.
We serve patients covered by most commercial insurance plans, including:
- The Alliance
- Blue Cross
- Health EOS
- Medicare and Medicaid
- Physicians Plus
- WEA Trust