Nationally recognized wound care in Richmond
The Center for Wound Healing at Retreat Doctors’ Hospital is devoted to patients who have complex, non-healing wounds. Our team is committed to helping patients while providing physicians the freedom to coordinate care in the most effective manner.
To schedule an appointment with us, call (804) 254-5403.
Hyperbaric Facility Accreditation
The Center for Wound Healing at Retreat Doctors' Hospital is the only facility in central Virginia accredited with distinction from the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society. This recognition is awarded to programs that meet the most rigorous industry standards and practice evidence-based medicine.
Wound care services
Our wound care center treats a wide range of chronic, recurrent, non-healing and acute wounds caused by a number of factors, such as:
- Pressure ulcers
- Diabetic foot ulcers
- Tissue or bone infections
- Crush injuries
- Gas gangrene
- Venous leg ulcers
- Surgical complications
- Radiation complications
- Arterial ulcers
We have a comprehensive menu of treatment services for all patients, including:
- Wound and skin care program
- Interdisciplinary team of healthcare professionals including physicians, nurses, home health providers, diabetic counselors, social workers and rehabilitation therapists
- Intensive treatment from inpatient rehabilitation staff to maximize independence and mobility skills
- Ongoing clinical research in healing mechanisms, treatments and technology
- Prevention and education programs
- Oversight by a medical director and staff with more than 100 years of research and clinical expertise in wound healing and plastic reconstructive surgery
Wound care treatments
Our team offers individualized plans and treatment options. Referring physicians maintain direct coordination of their patient's care and have access to our outstanding team of plastic, general, vascular and orthopedic surgeons, family practice and internal medicine physicians, endocrinologists and infectious disease specialists. At our wound therapy clinic, where we administer treatment, we provide:
- Assessment and documentation of wounds including measurements/photographs
- Cleansing of wound and surrounding tissue
- Debridement (removal) of dead tissue in and around wound
- Selection and application of wound dressing
- Compression application if needed
- Multi-layer dressings
- Assistance with ordering of garments as needed
- Diabetic foot assessment, education and callus care
Wound therapy clinic
Run by certified wound specialists and physical therapists, our clinic is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
On average, appointments typically have a duration of 20 to 30 minutes. Evaluations typically last one hour. All wounds heal at different rates, therefore it is difficult to predict the time frame for treatments. It can range from weeks to months for full closure. Patients can be seen anywhere from five days per week to monthly.
A physician's order is required to receive treatment at our wound care center. This can be from any physician currently caring for the patient, including a primary care physician, wound healing physician or podiatrist. We can help guide treatment in conjunction with your physician and if needed, recommend wound healing physicians, podiatrists or other specialists.
Most wound care treatments, including HBOT, are covered by Medicare and third-party payers do not require a referral. If you're uncertain about whether your insurance will cover your wound care, we can help you find out.
Be sure to download our medical history form and bring it to your first appointment at the wound care center.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT)
Retreat Doctors’ Hospital was the first in central Virginia to offer HBOT, one of the most advanced treatment options available for healing wounds.
Usually an outpatient treatment, HBOT involves breathing pure oxygen for about two hours in a sealed, pressurized environment to help push oxygen into your blood plasma. This process enhances the ability of white blood cells to fight off infections, while simultaneously stimulating the growth of new blood vessels, and can restore normal oxygen metabolism to affected tissues.
HBOT has also shown to be effective in the treatment of dive injuries and decompression sickness.
Decompression sickness (DCS)
DCS occurs when the body is exposed to a sudden drop in surrounding pressure and is caused by the formation of gas bubbles in the blood and tissues. This event occurs as a result of:
- Rising too quickly to the surface from deep sea scuba diving
- A fast ascent into a high altitude from a low altitude
- A sudden exit from a high pressure or hyperbaric chamber
- A long dive or multiple dives in one day
- Flying after diving
- Diving in extremely cold water without proper protective gear
At normal altitudes, nitrogen and other gases are exhaled or dissolved in the blood and tissues. However, during severe changes in altitude and air pressure, nitrogen and other gases form gas bubbles. These bubbles block the flow of blood. If you experience any symptoms of DCS, immediate treatment is extremely important, as this condition can be fatal if not treated quickly. Symptoms can include itchy skin, headache, rash, nausea, joint pain and swelling.
DCS I is the less severe type, as it primarily causes inflammation of muscles, joints and tendons, resulting in pain and swelling. This is commonly referred to as "the bends." Although pain can occur anywhere in the body, it is most common in or near an arm or leg joint. The pain may become more severe over time. Itching, skin mottling (irregular spots, marks, blotches or patches), weakness and fatigue may occur. If you have DCS I, breathing 100 percent oxygen from a mask may be sufficient treatment. You should also be monitored carefully for other symptoms.
DCS II causes more serious effects, including neurological symptoms, such as numbness and tingling. In the most severe form, numbness may lead to paralysis and even death. The treatment for DCS II is HBOT.
You can prevent DCS by:
- Following standard diving guidelines and limiting the depth and duration of deep sea dives
- Avoiding diving if you are obese, pregnant, have heart or lung problems or have had a recent joint or limb injury
- Avoiding excessive alcohol consumption 24 hours before diving
- Avoiding flying for 24 hours after deep sea diving
- Avoiding repeated dives within a 12-hour period
- Taking ibuprofen to help prevent altitude sickness when hiking
- Avoiding flights in non-pressurized aircraft