Wound healing, as a normal biological process usually occurs through four dynamic and interchangeable phases:
Haemostasis – bleeding on initial injury/surgery/trauma. When a wound has been sustained, blood clotting ensures temporary closure.
Inflammation – This is the body’s natural response to injury often associated with heat, erythema (redness), pain and swelling.
Proliferation – This is the rebuilding stage of healing
Remodelling/Maturation – The final phase which involves remodelling of collagen and scar formation. This is a very delicate stage of healing.
For full wound healing to occur these intricate phases and physiological functions must occur in the proper order, be specific in time and duration for optimal effect. If you are reading this page, it’s likely that your wound is not progressing through the normal phases of healing and this can be for several reasons. Sometimes patients may have be living with a wound that is not healing for some time, for example a wound on the lower limb and be unaware that this may be a leg ulceration. It is vital that your wound has a proper diagnosis and subsequent treatment plan is in place with regular reviews and assessment of healing.
There are a number of factors that may affect the phases of healing and delay tissue repair:
Our age, immunity and current health and wellbeing
Medical history, conditions, previous operations or procedures and ongoing treatment/investigations
Stress, anxiety, lack of sleep and depression
Lifestyle; smoking, recreational drug taking and alcohol consumption
Work: pattern, conditions of work such as long hours standing
Previous experiences that may have impacted on your confidence and engagement
There are also a number of specific wound factors that can affect healing:
Presence of debris, necrotic (devitalised/nonviable tissue)
How long you have had the wound
Poor wound hygiene and/cleansing regime
Condition of surrounding/involved skin and related moisture or dryness
We understand the complexities of living with a wound and that you may have a number of questions and we will go through everything with you.
There are times when a wound may not heal; it is important to have an open and realistic conversation about the potential treatment options, what matters to you and what you want to improve.
There are a number of treatments that we can consider and discuss in detail.