Plastic Surgery

Wound Healing and Closure Frequently Asked Questions

General

What types of conditions are treated at the Center for Wound Healing and Reconstruction?

The best candidates for our services are those individuals with acute or chronic wounds from any cause.

What makes Penn different than other wound healing centers in the Philadelphia area?

Penn provides a true multidisciplinary approach to wound healing. While other facilities offer access to a variety of specialties through their health system, they fail to integrate the disciplines into one cohesive system with streamlined care.

The combined expertise of our dedicated specialists crosses multiple departments. Our foot and ankle surgeon, our highly skilled microsurgeons, surgereons and physicians that handle diabetes, infectious disease, vascular complications and more creates a team of experts nearly impossible to find elsewhere.

How do I know I'm seeing a qualified plastic surgeon?

Finding a well-trained, experienced plastic surgeon is one of the most important steps in ensuring that you achieve the results you want. Here's how to find the best physician for you:

Check for board certification. Does the American Board of Plastic Surgery certify him or her? This is the only board that certifies plastic surgeons.

Check professional memberships. Is she or he a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons? This professional society promotes education and standards among board certified plastic surgeons.

Check out the hospital. Is he or she on the staff of an accredited hospital? Hospitals can be accredited by any of several private and public organizations; the most common accrediting body is the Joint Commission.

Talk to your family physician for information about another physician's qualifications.

Ask your plastic surgeon about his or her education, training for a particular procedure and experience with the procedures you want.

Question the source, if you get information from friends. While they may be able to recommend a qualified plastic surgeon, friends may also base their opinions on second- or third-hand information.

Read up. Magazines or television programs may be reliable resources, but be cautious. Don't base your decision solely on them; check out the source.

Is plastic surgery safe?

As with all surgical procedures, there is some risk of complications. You can reduce potential risks and complications by carefully following all pre- and post-surgery instructions provided to you by your surgeon.

This will ensure that you and your plastic surgeon are prepared and that your body is appropriately cared for before, during and after surgery.

What about confidentiality?

Although many people are more open about their own cosmetic surgery now than they once were, not everyone is. We all want the privilege of telling family and friends about our surgery ourselves. Be assured that in most plastic surgery offices, your privacy is highly guarded.

At Penn, all new staff members must attend training sessions in how to maintain patients' privacy. Following the training, each new employee signs an agreement to follow privacy and confidentiality principles. Our physicians and support staff use discretion with patient information.

Diabetes

If I am a diabetic, will I need to keep my blood sugar under control?

Yes, it is very important. Taking an active role in facilitating your recovery is the single most important step you can take. High blood sugar can slow down or prevent wound healing.

Are there specific wound care concerns associated with diabetes?

Due to poor circulation caused by diabetes, even minor injuries may be slow to heal. This may lead to infection, which can in turn lead to further complications including death of the tissue near the wound. Diabetic patients must be very cautious with any wound, no matter how minor.

Chronic Wounds

Is amputation inevitable with chronic wounds?

Amputation is not an inevitable outcome of a chronic wound. In many cases amputation can be avoided with the appropriate treatment plan that addresses all issues preventing the wound from healing.

Can chronic wounds ever heal?

With the proper treatment, chronic wound can be healed. At Penn, our focus is on repairing chronic wounds, not just managing them. We customize our treatment to maximize healing and minimize the time needed to do so.

Before and After Your Surgery

How do I prepare for my surgery?

Specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery will be provided. Carefully following all instructions will help your surgery go smoothly. You will need to arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery and provide assistance for the first few days.

What can I expect from my recovery?

The healing process for lower extremity reconstructive surgery depends on the extent and type of surgery performed. Because each surgery is unique and varies greatly in complexity, the recovery process for each person will be different.

Successful recovery requires patients to take an active role in all aspects of their care.

Can I get my wound wet after surgery?

You can get your wound wet following surgery in the shower unless your surgeon advises against it. Do not soak or submerge your wound until the time specified by your doctor.

Financial Information

Is treatment covered by my insurance?

Many health insurance plans cover wound care treatment plans. We will assist you in determining what your specific plan covers.

Are fees for all reconstructive surgery the same?

No. Reconstructive surgery fees can vary greatly, and what you'll pay depends upon:

The surgeon's fee: Physician's charges vary according to the surgeon's experience and other variables. Check out the American Society of Plastic Surgeons' website to see the fee range in your area for the procedure you're considering.

The hospital or facility fee: Whether you have surgery in the hospital operating room or day surgery unit, there will be a fee. If your procedure requires you to remain overnight in the hospital, there may be an additional fee.

The anesthesia fee: You will pay the anesthesia department separately for anesthesia services.

You will be provided a proposed surgery estimate including surgeon's, facility and anesthesia fees following your consultation. If you're unsure about what the estimate includes, ask.

You will be required to make a deposit to hold your surgery date and you must pay all fees two to four weeks before your scheduled surgery date.

Is there a consultation fee?

Yes, there is a fee for your private and personalized consultation with one of our surgeons, however, if you do end up having your procedure done with us, the consultation fee will be waived.

Next Steps

To schedule a consultation call 800-789-7366 or request an appointment online.