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Wound Care Wonders
Alternative closure devices, irrigation fluids and antimicrobial dressings go a long way toward reducing post-op complications.
Jared Bilski | Managing Editor
Publish Date: January 6, 2022   |  Tags:   Wound Closure Infection Prevention Patient Experience
STRESS RELIEF Alternative wound closure products allow busy physicians to forgo the time-consuming process of staple or suture removal, which also saves the patient from an anxiety-producing post-op visit.   |   Pamela Bevelhymer

There are plenty of reasons more surgeons are turning to non-traditional ways to improve their wound-closure techniques and improve the overall healing process. One of the biggest is patient satisfaction. Brian J. Cole, MD, MBA, stumbled upon this benefit during the pandemic. Dr. Cole, a sports medicine specialist at Midwest Orthopedics at Rush in Chicago, was accustomed to seeing his patients eight to 10 days after surgery to remove their sutures. The visits tended to cause patients issues that ranged from mild annoyance to full-on fear. “Some patients had to drive some distance, which was inconvenient, and getting sutures removed can be anxiety-provoking for many because it involves tugging and pulling at a relatively fresh incision,” says Dr. Cole. “Plus, the visits are extremely inefficient and cost-ineffective.”

Luckily, Dr. Cole’s facility had added an alternative wound closure device to its arsenal, and because of the pandemic, telemedicine has become ubiquitous at places where the communication technology had been unused in the past. As a result, Dr. Cole was able to eliminate the traditional post-op suture or staple removal visit because the wound-closure device — a stretchy adhesive with micro-anchors that adhere to the skin to approximate the surgically created skin edges against each other as an alternative to sutures or staples — at his disposal allows patients to put the finishing touches on their surgeries themselves.

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