Treating Pressure Ulcers: Surgery
A large pressure ulcer is a threat to a patient’s health. Without surgical repair, these wounds can take a long time to heal. This can raise the risk for serious complications. If you think surgical repair of an ulcer is needed, review the goals of care with a health care provider. Also ensure that nutrition is adequate for these patients.
Surgical Flap and Skin Graft
The goal is to close the ulcer and provide padding over the bony prominence. Healthy tissue from another part of the body is often used. A muscle flap is one of the best surgical interventions, since a flap retains its own blood supply. This allows for more rapid healing. A skin graft can also close the wound. Living or artificial skin may be used.
Precautions should be taken when caring for a patient who has had a surgical procedure. Some of these measures include the following:
Keep pressure off the affected area.
Keep the sutures clean.
Ensure wound drains stay open.
Watch for signs of infection and hematomas.
Watch for signs of impaired healing, such as a change in wound color or abnormal drainage.