Wound VAC Therapy Pros and Cons
Wound VAC therapy is one of the newest methods used to assist in wound healing in patients with especially hard to heal skin wounds. These cases include surgical incisions, diabetic ulcers, burns and other challenging skin sores. This revolutionary method first introduced in 1996 has changed the way the medical world addresses serious and complex wounds in critically ill or bedridden patients.
For wounds that will not heal properly, or a surgical wound that breaks open because of poor healing due to underlying medical conditions like diabetes or poor blood circulation, the therapy is a miracle. Wound VAC therapy uses negative pressure and specialized medical devices to improve wound healing on a cellular level, and the many benefits offered can be astonishing. Special sterile foam is applied to the would area, covered by a dressing followed by a vacuum therapy. This specialized approach has proven to reduce bacterial growth, drain extra liquid from the wound and speed up its healing. Today these machines are used widely throughout hospitals, nursing homes and could be purchased to use in a home setting.
The method offers both pros and cons to patients.
Wound VAC Therapy Pros:
This treatment helps to speed up the wound healing process, so that the wound closes better and heals faster. Another pro is that there is usually a much shorter hospital stay. There are no surgical procedures required, and none of the anesthesia risks involved with surgery. There is no recovery period required after the treatment is finished, and many hospitals and care facilities have KCI wound VAC equipment so this treatment is available in many medical settings.
Wound VAC Therapy Cons:
Wound VAC therapy does have some disadvantages as well as benefits though, and a big con for this treatment is the cost. The equipment needed to provide this type of therapy can be very expensive, which means the treatment costs are also high. Some individuals may experience difficulty keeping the equipment in place, and not everyone who receives this type of treatment will get ideal results. Diabetic wounds may not always respond positively at first, and in some cases surgery may be needed to remove any dead tissue. This treatment can include some discomfort and inconvenience, but it is less invasive than traditional surgery. A hospital or long term care facility stay may be needed, and because of the high expense this treatment is not always available.
Additional con of the VAC therapy is its contraindications. This device is not intended to use on cancer skin sores since malignant conditions require a totally different treatment approach. The VAC should never be applied directly on broken blood vessels to avoid dangerous bleeding risk. Patients with extensive diabetic skin damage must first undergo a procedure to cleanse wounds from dead skin debris before initiating the VAC therapy. Moreover, patients sensitive to silver components should not use silver foam dressing in therapy to avoid allergic reactions.
The advantages and benefits of wound VAC therapy greatly outweigh the drawbacks of this treatment for most patients, especially when a wound will not respond to the other treatments available.