Wound care specialists in South Tampa

For most people, wound healing is an uneventful, natural part of life. However, for some people, wound healing is a complex medical problem that requires specialized, dedicated treatment. If you are dealing with a hard-to-heal wound, the specialists at HCA Florida South Tampa Hospital are here to evaluate it and devise an individualized treatment plan.

To learn more about our wound healing services in South Tampa, please call our wound care department at (813) 342-1445.

Complete patient care

Each patient in our wound care program receives an initial evaluation and a dedicated treatment plan designed to help heal their wound. In addition to treatment, our wound healing specialists also work to address the underlying cause, control infection and improve the overall health of every patient.

We focus on our patients as a whole by considering physical and emotional needs, which are integral to the healing process. We are committed to providing patient care with dignity and respect. The care you receive at our hospital will be coordinated by the hospital staff in partnership with your primary care physician.

Additionally, we are able to quickly admit patients to our intensive care unit (ICU) if needed.

Types of wounds we treat

We treat all types of resistant wounds—which are simply wounds that are not responding to conventional wound healing processes. We also have access to advanced imaging services to aid our physicians in diagnosing certain types of wounds. Some of the most common wounds treated at our hospital include:

  • Arterial (ischemic) ulcers
  • Bone infection
  • Diabetic foot ulcers
  • Gangrene
  • Lower leg ulcers
  • Postoperative infections
  • Radiation burns
  • Skin lacerations
  • Skin tears
  • Venous stasis ulcers

Advanced wound treatment options

Different wounds require different treatments, which is why we provide a range of wound treatment options, such as:

  • Antibiotics—These medications are often used even if an infection is not clearly present. They can be used as a method of preventing infection.
  • Alleviation of weight-bearing wounds—Certain types of ulcers may be aided in healing by keeping pressure off of the affected foot. Sometimes, special casts or boots are placed on the foot to "offload" pressure from the ulcer.
  • Blood sugar control—Infected ulcers are known to cause high blood sugar levels, which lower immune response and prevent wound healing. Adjustments made to diet and medication can help fight infections and heal wounds. Sometimes, insulin shots are given to achieve optimal blood sugar control in the short-term.
  • Debridement—This process involves the removal of dead tissue around a wound. It is necessary for wound cleaning and to promote the healing process.
  • Skin grafts—A bio-engineered skin graft or human skin graft can be used to treat diabetic foot ulcers that fail to heal with traditional treatment methods. Grafts have been shown to speed up the healing process.
  • Specialty wound dressings—The application of medicines and dressings can encourage wounds to close and promote healing.
  • Surgery—Surgery to improve blood flow in the leg arteries may help with wound healing and spare the need for amputation. Amputation surgery is used as a last resort to stop the spread of infection to the rest of the body.

Following treatment, some patients may require continued care to supplement the healing and recovery process. For this, our hospital offers comprehensive physical therapy and rehabilitation services.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT)

HBOT is an advanced therapy used to accelerate the healing of chronic and non-healing wounds. It has also proven effective in treating certain types of infections and conditions ranging from carbon monoxide poisoning to radiation injuries.

HBOT allows patients to breathe pure oxygen inside a pressurized chamber, which delivers high concentrations of oxygen to the bloodstream—about 10 to 20 times the normal amount. Pure oxygen obtained in the hyperbaric chamber can reach areas that oxygen-carrying red blood cells are unable to reach. As a result, HBOT helps revitalize tissues that receive poor blood flow, stimulating the growth of new blood vessels. Increased levels of oxygen also enable more infection-fighting white blood cells to reach affected areas.

HBOT treatment process

HBOT is painless and most patients will watch television or fall asleep during treatment. Treatment is monitored by a certified hyperbaric technologist (CHT) at all times and there is always a physician nearby.

After you are comfortably positioned in the chamber, the technologist will slowly increase the air pressure. As the pressure slowly increases and decreases at the end of treatment, you may experience the sensation of changing altitude while in an airplane. Your technologist is able to help equalize the pressure between your ears, if needed.

Most patients require HBOT treatment over the course of several weeks to see wound healing results.