Non-healing wounds often require intervention from a wound care specialist. At Central Maine Healthcare’s Comprehensive Wound Center, based at Central Maine Medical Center with satellite clinics at Rumford Hospital and Bridgton Hospital, a team of experts can identify the cause of non-healing wounds and provide advanced treatments and therapies for repair.
Types of Wounds
The experts at the Comprehensive Wound Center offer diagnosis and treatment for a wide variety of wounds, including:
- Arterial (ischemic) ulcers. An arterial ulcer occurs when there is inadequate blood flow to the legs. The most common cause of arterial ulcers is atherosclerosis, which causes the arteries to become clogged and prevents healthy blood flow through the body. When blood cannot reach the feet or legs, tissue damage occurs and may cause an open wound on the lower extremities. The sore is slow to mend due to the lack of blood flow necessary for healing. Adults with diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure and those who smoke and are older are most at risk for developing arterial ulcers.
- Neuropathic ulcers. A neuropathic ulcer occurs as a result of decreased sensation. One of the most common causes is diabetes, which can cause nerve damage to the feet that allows wounds to go unnoticed. In addition, high blood sugar levels can alter the body’s ability to fight an infection and heal the wound. Neuropathic ulcers can take months to heal if not properly treated.
- Venous ulcers. These open sores occur on the legs as a result of venous insufficiency. Venous insufficiency causes leg swelling that can result in tissue damage, because the veins cannot properly send blood from the legs back up to the heart. Adults with a history of blood clots, multiple pregnancies, prolonged standing/inactivity, IV drug use and conditions that cause clot formation are most at risk of developing venous insufficiency and venous ulcers.
Untreated wounds can cause serious problems, including infection, pain and, in some cases, limb loss. Experts at the Comprehensive Wound Center provide a variety of specialty treatments and therapies for patients with non-healing wounds.
Our clinic experts work together with other specialists to offer patients a comprehensive treatment plan. We often collaborate during your appointment with providers from other specialties, such as infectious disease; oncology; vascular, general and plastic surgery; and physical and occupational therapy services. We provide both inpatient and outpatient care and consultation.
In addition to treating wounds, our wound specialists also provide care for:
- Lymphedema occurs when lymph — a fluid that helps your body fight infection — builds up under the skin. This causes swelling, usually in the arms and legs. Patients who have received cancer surgery or radiation therapy often experience lymphedema because of damage or removal of the lymph nodes. It can also result from infections or injury.
- An ostomy is a surgically created opening in the abdomen that connects an internal organ with the surface of the skin. The usual purpose of an ostomy is to allow the elimination of body waste through this artificial opening. Typically, this connection is made to the bowel but can also be made for bladder issues as well. The opening on the abdomen is fit with a pouch that sticks to the body and collects waste material. Patients with colon, rectal or bladder cancer; trauma or injury; and bowel disorders such as Crohns’ disease, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis or fecal incontinence may need an ostomy.