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Ask the BJC Expert

Ask the BJC Expert

Wounds that Refuse to Heal Need Special Care

Stephanie Sandberg, DO

Published on Thursday, August 11, 2016


Stephanie Sandberg, DO, is with the Advanced Wound Center, located at 2630 Highway K in O’Fallon. Do you have a wound that won’t heal? Get more information and schedule a consultation with the Advanced Wound Center today by calling 636.980.5333 or online at progresswest.org/woundcare.


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What type of patients do you see?

We see a variety of patients.  Some patients may have had a surgical procedure that is not healing as fast as they expected, or even vein wounds.  Others have diabetes, with common wounds in their feet and toes.  We also see patients that may not be getting enough blood flow to their feet and legs.  We see wounds that are not healing in the normal fashion - sometimes they just need dressings or cleanings.  Other times, it requires more intensive therapy. 

At what point should I seek help?

Call us or your primary care physician anytime you have open wound.  It’s very common for wounds to get infected and cause further problems, even a loss of limb, which is something we obviously want to avoid.

What are the common causes of these types of wounds?

The most common wounds we see are from diabetics.  Diabetics lose some of the blood supply and their sugars are irregular at times, which causes problem in their feet and toes. That’s a great reason to see a primary care physician on a regular basis; they do a foot evaluation at every checkup to look for wounds or breakdowns in the skin. People with diabetes are at high risk. 

The other patients we often see at the Advanced Wound Center are people with vein problems, including genetics and blood clots. Problems usually occur in the legs and can be made worse by smoking.

We also see wounds that can result from surgeries, including orthopedic, back, general surgery and abdominal surgery.  Typically, patients just aren’t progressing as fast as the original surgeon thought they would.  So we help their recovery along. 

How do I book an appointment?

Patients can self-refer by calling 636.614.3096 or go through their primary care physician to get an appointment.

What is the initial visit like?

Patients will be seen by one of our five wound care certified physicians with backgrounds in surgical, infectious, medical or vascular.  The physicians work together to give patients the best care.  On the initial visit, we’ll evaluate and try to determine the cause of the wound.   

 How often do patients come to see you?

We usually see them every week at the beginning to really get an idea of how their wound is going to respond to some of the treatments and make sure they are on the right road to healing.  We also coordinate home health nursing if it’s needed, and can order dressings for patients to be sent to their home. It’s just part of coordinating the complete care and healing of this wound.

How effective is the treatment?

At the beginning, we give the patient an idea of how long it will take.  But, we can heal most wounds within 12 weeks.  There are quite a few options we have now to close wounds that we didn’t have several years ago. 

Does insurance cover wound care?

Yes they do, in a variety of ranges.  We assess insurance coverage on the first visit. There are different treatments we use to treat wounds, and all of the treatments are run through insurance. 

If people want to learn more about the wound center, how would they contact you?

Call the Advanced Wound Center directly at 636.980.5333 and speak to a specialist to get you scheduled and take care of your insurance.  If you want more information about our technology visit progresswest.org/woundcare




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