Center for Wound Healing: Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect at my first visit with the wound care physician?

Wound Care Tech with Patient's Foot Vertical Photo

When you arrive to our new, state-of-the-art facility you will be greeted by our friendly staff who will assist you to the examination room at your appointment time. Our team will discuss your medical history, review medications you may be on and what allergies you might have, and exam your wound to determine the best course to treatments to begin. Your wound may be photographed with our 3-D camera to accurately measure the wound and for documenting healing over time. Tests may be ordered including blood flow studies, x-ray films and laboratory work to help determine the diagnosis.

What will the wound care treatments be like?

All patients are treated with an individualized plan that is developed based on the underlying problem that caused the wound to develop. This treatment plan may change with time and is based on your medical history, results of tests we have ordered and your personal needs. Wound care treatments may include helping you receive medical supplies for dressing changes at home or providing dressing care in our clinic.

Are there other treatments involved to help my wound heal?

Our goal is not just to place a bandage over the wound, but to help determine the underlying cause and ensure a deeper level of healing. Because of this we may order additional tests and/or refer you to experts in other fields of medicine.

Unna's boot

What is an Unna's boot?

An Unna's boot (or Unna boot) is a special compression dressing that incorporates medication into the bandage to help heal and comfort irritated skin. Typically used in patients with venous insufficiency disease (disease of the veins and the valves within veins) these dressings help alleviate the swelling and irritation associated with this condition.

What is negative pressure therapy in wound care?

Negative pressure therapy is a specialized treatment that utilizes a sealed dressing over a wound, along with a medical grade vacuum device that creates sub-atmospheric pressure around the wound. This helps encourage healing and removes fluid and swelling from the site.

Why do you use a 3-D camera when you take pictures of wounds?

Applying bandage

A picture is worth a thousand words; however, pictures don’t tell the whole story. While a regular picture of a wound does keep a record of how the wound looks, it does not offer any details to the true dimensions of the wound. Our 3-D camera creates a topographical map of the wound, providing accurate surface area and volume measurements of the wound. This gives us better insight into changes occurring in the wound over time.

What is a hydro-scalpel?

While the metal scalpel (knife) is the tried and true method to removing dead tissue from a wound, the hydro-scalpel uses a high speed jet of water that effectively removes thin layers of debris and tissues from the wound bed that can harbor bacteria and cause infection. This technique is commonly used in our hospital operating rooms.

What is skin substitute therapy?

Many chronic wounds do not heal as new skin cannot bridge over the open wound. Skin substitute therapy uses cells grown in a laboratory that can be placed on a healthy wound bed to assist and expedite the process of growing skin to close a wound.

Using the latest technology

Luna Imaging System Logo

Hennepin County Medical Center's Center for Hyperbaric Medicine uses fluorescence microangiography, a technology that can assess blood flow in chronic, non-healing wounds and diabetic foot ulcers. Hennepin County Medical Center is the first in Minnesota to use the LUNA™ Imaging System for wound assessment.