Wound care after any surgery is very important, especially for the diabetic patient. Plastic surgeons are trained to make incisions and place sutures in such a way as to reduce scarring. For the diabetic patient, special attention is given to the post operative wound to insure proper healing occurs.
Proper circulation of oxygen-rich blood is necessary to ensure proper healing. Diabetic patients tend to experience slower healing due to narrower blood vessels that decrease the flow of oxygen to the surgical site. Additionally, this slower blood flow leads to a higher chance of infection. The following are factors to consider when scheduling a surgical procedure.
You can help improve your healing process by:
- Making sure that you eat healthy—lots of protein and vitamin C
- Alerting your physician if you notice inflammation or redness
- Looking for any small openings around the wound
- And above all:
- Do Not Smoke!
Smoking reduces the oxygen in the blood stream, combine that with compromised blood vessels due to diabetes and you create the “perfect storm” for poor wound healing.
Always be open with your physician about any health problems you may have, especially diabetes, as this will only aid your doctor in making the proper choices in treating any medical condition you may have.
By Armando Moncada, M.D.