Ask The Doctor

Ask The Doctor
(Source: Raycom Media)

Robert Heidepriem, MD, a board certified vascular surgeon at St. Vincent's Birmingham, joined us to discuss wound care and treatment options. \

General wounds such as mild cuts or mild burns are commonly treated by a primary care physician. Wounds that occur as a result of other health issues such as diabetes or wounds that do not heal over time often warrant a visit to a wound care specialist.

It is estimated that nearly 6 million Americans suffer from chronic, non-healing wounds. Some of the most common wounds specialists treat are Diabetic wounds, pressure ulcers, venous stasis ulcers, arterial ulcers, vasculitic ulcers, non-healing surgical wounds, complex soft tissue wounds, traumatic wounds, and infected wounds.

Treatment options include advanced wound care therapy, advanced dressings, negative pressure therapy, IV antibiotics, skin substitute products, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Many patients can benefit from Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy or HBOT treatments. HBOT is a medical treatment in which a patient breathes 100% oxygen while in a hyperbaric chamber. Breathing 100% oxygen under pressure delivers more oxygen to the blood, which is then delivered to those areas that are having trouble healing. HBOT allows for an increase of 10 times in plasma oxygen concentration, which accelerates the wound healing process.

St. Vincent's Health System is proud to offer wound care treatment at St. Vincent's St. Clair as well as our new Advanced Wound Center at St. Vincent's Birmingham. To learn more, visit or call Dial-A-Nurse at (205) 939-7878.

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