Wound Healing

Community Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Center

 

2839 Ft. Missoula Road

Missoula, MT 59804

406.327.4514    


 

Hours: Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

After-hours urgent care: Call Nurse-on-Call at 406.327-4770.

        

Achieving the best possible wound healing is essential for health. At Community Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Center, we use the latest techniques and technologies to help your wound heal so you can get back to being as active as possible and enjoying life.

Our skilled physicians and other wound-care specialists treat a wide range of wounds, including:

  • Diabetic ulcers
  • Neuropathic ulcers
  • Pressure ulcers (bed sores)
  • Vasculitis
  • Traumatic wounds
  • Surgical wounds
  • Burns
  • Venous insufficiency
  • Skin irritations around stomas
  • Other chronic, non-healing wounds

We start by assessing your wound, including its initial cause and why it is persisting. We also look at any other conditions you may have that can affect your wound healing. Our diagnostic approach may include lab work, wound cultures, a nutritional assessment and other strategies.

We use a number of effective wound healing techniques, including hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Community Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Center is the only facility in the area with this state-of-the-art therapy.

You will receive comprehensive care from our providers, John Payne, MD and Matt McNutt, FNP. Your treatment may also include appointments with physician specialists in areas such as: infectious disease, podiatry, vascular surgery, plastic surgery or cardiology. In addition, you may see a certified nutritionist, a certified diabetes educator or other experts in specific aspects of wound healing.

You can trust your wound care to our skilled providers, our physician specialists and other experts. We count you and your family as part of your care team, and always answer any questions about your condition and treatments. Your healing is our top priority.

In most cases, patients come to us through a referral from their primary care physician. You are welcome to make an appointment without a referral. However, please check with your insurance provider to find out if you are covered for non-referred care.

 

Specialized wound care

Anyone can have a problem wound, from a child with an injury to an adult with pressure sores or diabetic foot ulcers. At Community Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Center, our team of specialists uses the latest healing techniques to treat these and a broad range of other wounds.

When you come to our outpatient clinic, we assess your wound and determine the best options for treatment. Our wound specialists use diagnostic tools such as Doppler ultrasound, which provides crucial information about blood circulation to the wound.

Your treatment may include one or more of these wound-care methods:

Debridement.
This is the removal of dead tissue that is left behind as wounds heal. In some cases it’s best to let your body do this gradually on its own, through what is called autolytic debridement. When the process needs to occur faster, doctors may use methods such as excisional debridement or sharp selective debridement, two procedures that remove the dead tissue more quickly. Another method is enzymatic debridement, which uses chemical enzymes to help the body slough off the dead tissue.

Negative pressure wound therapy (also called “wound vac”).
This uses a portable device to create continuous or intermittent negative pressure inside the wound, removing fluids and infectious materials. A special dressing seals the device to the wound, and medicines can be applied during the therapy. It may be used for a few days to several months.

Skin substitutes.
These may be used to help close a non-healing wound. They are often made from healthy human skin cells but can also be made from a variety of other sources. The cells contain substances such as collagen that are important for healing. Problem wounds treated with this type of graft usually start to improve within a few weeks.

Total contact casting.
This uses a special fiberglass cast to protect diabetic pressure ulcers so they can heal. It fits closely around your leg and foot, with a layer of soft foam over the ulcer. This is known as pressure ulcer off-loading, because it relieves pressure on the ulcer as you walk.

Angioplasty and stent placement.
These minimally invasive procedures are used to treat a condition called peripheral artery disease, or PAD. With this condition, arteries in the legs or arms become narrowed or blocked. With angioplasty, the surgeon expands a tiny balloon inside the artery to widen the space there. A mesh tube called a stent is then placed to keep the artery open. Improved circulation after treatment helps wounds heal.

Your treatment may also include consultation with a dietician to help you choose foods that promote healing. People who have diabetes may talk with a diabetes educator about ways to help heal foot ulcers and avoid additional wounds. Depending on your wound, you may also see a podiatrist, a surgeon, an infectious disease specialist, a cardiologist or another specialist.

Whatever treatments you have with us, your wound care team will discuss your treatment options with you and your family and answer any questions you may have.

 

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Many non-healing wounds can benefit from hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). This therapy promotes healing by raising the amount of oxygen in the blood in a way that makes it more available to the damaged tissue. HBOT can be effective for:

  • Wounds that have not healed with other treatments. That can include diabetic foot ulcers, bed sores, traumatic injuries, and others
  • Crush injuries
  • Burns
  • Necrotizing infections in soft tissue (also called flesh-eating infections)
  • Bone infections
  • Skin grafts in danger of failing
  • Damage from radiation therapy for cancer

Community Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Center offers the only HBOT services in the area. Our two HBOT chambers are the latest and largest available for single-person use. That means even very large patients will be comfortable.

HBOT is usually an outpatient procedure. Your treatments with us will proceed like this:

You will be given a detailed orientation to the HBOT chamber. This will including how to prepare for your treatment, what to wear, and what measures are taken to ensure your safety.

The technician will check your vital signs, listen to your lungs and examine the inside of your ears. If you are diabetic, your blood sugar levels will be checked both before and after treatment.

Inside the chamber, you relax on a comfortable padded table in a hospital gown. You can watch TV or listen to music during your session.

The chamber is slowly pressurized with 100 percent oxygen to between 2 and 3 times normal air pressure. You may feel pressure in your ears similar to what happens during an airplane flight, and you can clear it the same way — by swallowing, yawning or moving your jaw.

Throughout the session your blood absorbs the extra oxygen and carries it to the wound.

When your session is complete the pressure is gradually decreased until it equals that in the room. You can usually resume your normal activities quickly.

Sessions last about two hours and most people have one treatment per weekday. The number of treatments you’ll need depends on how your wound responds to HBOT. Our team will keep your primary care physician informed on your progress.

Our team of specialists are each experts at all aspects of treating problems wounds. We are committed to helping you return to your best possible level of functioning.

For more information call 406.327.4514    

Hours: Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.