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Plastic Surgery Home Page
Health Information
Division of
Plastic Surgery
Wound Treatment
Scott Bartlett
S. Bartlett
Benjamin Chang
B. Chang
Albert D'Angelantonio
John Fischer
J. Fischer
Joshua Fosnot
J. Fosnot
David Low
D. Low
Joseph Serletti
Dr. Serletti

Wounds are any defect in the surface covering of the body and may involve not only the skin, but also the fat layer underneath and in certain instances the muscle, bones, nerves, tendons and ligaments.  Wounds may result from trauma, infection, decreased circulation, disruption of surgical incisions, radiation therapy, advanced cancers, burns, venomous bites, and toxic chemicals.

familyWound care involves a wide range of dressings, topical agents, oral and intravenous antibiotics, wound debridement, and reconstructive surgical procedures to restore stable soft tissue coverage.

How are wounds evaluated? In addition to a medical history and physical examination, additional testing may include xrays and scans to check for deep extension and possible bone involvement, wound cultures to check for specific bacteria and fungus, blood tests to check for malnutrition that may impair wound healing,  and vascular studies to look for poor circulation. 

How are wounds treated? Small wounds that are expected to heal spontaneously may require nothing more than a regimen of cleansing and dressing changes.  Topically applied agents may decrease bacterial contamination, prevent tissue dessication, facilitate shedding of unhealthy tissue, and decrease the pain of exposed nerve endings.  Special dressings may decrease the pain and frequency of dressing changes, absorb excessive drainage, and assist with wound contraction. Compression dressings will decrease swelling. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy will increase oxygen delivery to the wounds. Vascular surgery or interventional radiologic procedures can increase circulation to wounds with poor circulation.  Surgical debridement will remove unhealthy tissue, and surgical reconstruction may include skin grafts, local muscle or skin flaps, and transfer of healthy muscle or skin flaps with the assistance of microsurgery to maintain circulation to the closed wounds.  Improved delivery of calories and protein will help patients who are nutritionally depleted increase their ability to heal wounds.

Inpatient Facilities:
Hospital University of Pennsylvania (HUP)
Pennsylvania Hospital (PAH)
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)
Office Visit Locations:
Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine
Center for Human Appearance, Suite 1-150E (HUP)
230 W. Washington Square (PAH)
34th Street and Civic Center Boulevard (CHOP)
Making an Office Visit Appointment:
1-800-789-PENN (HUP) or 215-590-2208 (CHOP)

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