Wound Care and Limb Preservation Center

Wound Care

Millions of Americans suffer from chronic, non-healing wounds that are painful, create anxiety and have a negative impact on their quality of life. While most wounds heal with time, when wounds do not heal, specialists at The George Washington University Hospital's Wound Care and Limb Preservation Center can provide interdisciplinary care that uses many of the latest wound-healing techniques for patients who are seeking relief for their acute and chronic wounds. Through early intervention and appropriate treatment, physicians at the center can help eliminate pain, prevent disfigurement and save patients from major surgery, which could include the amputation of limbs.

Chronic foot ulcers, for example, are a major concern for people with diabetes, with more than half of all limb amputations every year caused by complications from diabetes, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control.

Comprehensive Multidisciplinary Care

Physicians at The George Washington University Hospital's Wound Care and Limb Preservation Center focus on healing acute and chronic wounds to help prevent the loss of limbs. They practice under the motto "Heal the patient, not just the wound." That means that physicians work to gain a full understanding of the complex and overlapping causes of a wound, and initiate treatments that result in healing and decrease the chances of infection.

Physicians at the center include experts in assessing patients in a number of areas, including vascular disease, podiatry, rheumatology, plastic surgery, infectious disease, cardiology, renal, orthopedics and wound care. There is a non-invasive vascular laboratory located onsite so that physicians can provide a quick diagnosis and provide hyperbaric oxygen therapy, when needed. The staff at the center works closely with each patient's primary care physician, family and other supportive services to help ensure the best possible care. 

The center's primary focus is to heal acute and chronic wounds. Treatments offered are evidence-based and may include skin substitutes, medicated dressings such as gels, alginates and silver foams, compression therapy, negative pressure therapy, and chemical or surgical debridement. Hyperbaric medicine has proven to stimulate healing in radiation cystitis, diabetic ulcers, ischemic skin grafts/flaps and sickle cell patients who have wounds.

Appointments at the Wound Care and Limb Preservation Center at The George Washington University Hospital are genearlly available within 24-72 hours of referral. The center is easily accessible from within the hospital and is just steps from the Foggy Bottom Metro station.

Common Wounds

Specialists at the Wound Care and Limb Preservation Center at The George Washington University Hospital treat the following conditions:

  • Arterial ulcers of the lower extremities, foot and ankle
  • Breast and back wounds
  • Burns, post-radiation wounds
  • Chronic venous ulcers or venous insufficiency
  • Diabetic foot ulcers
  • Dry gangrene
  • Foot and ankle trauma, injuries and infected wounds
  • Gastric bypass abdominal wounds
  • Lymphedema wounds
  • Non-healing surgical wounds, ostomy wounds
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Pyoderma Gangrenosum
  • Resistant bone infection wounds/Refractory Osteomyelitis
  • Sickel cell ulcers
  • Sports-related trauma wounds
  • Wounds of unknown cause

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

All wounds require oxygen to heal, but when patients have impaired blood flow, the amnount of pxygen delivered to their wound may be too little to promote healing. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a treatment method that helps deliver needed amounts of oxygen to heal wounds for these patients. Learn more about HBOT >

Minimally Invasive Techniques to improve blood supply

As part of the treatment process, doctors may perform minimally invasive catheter-based procedures, and use balloons, stents or other devices to restore blood flow to the legs. Minimally invasive procedures are not the best choice for every patient, so in some cases, surgeons may need to perform traditional surgery to bypass blockages in the legs. Learn more about minimally invasive procedures >

Bypass Surgery To Improve Circulation

Bypass surgery in the leg often involves using a graft or part of a patient's vein removed from another part of the body to connect healthy blood vessels and bypass an obstruction in a blood vessel. The bypass restores circulation to help relieve pain, promote healing and prevent limb amputation. The bypass allows blood to flow through the healthy vessel. Surgeons at The George Washington University Hospital have developed techniques, often with minimal incisions, that are used around the world to help restore blood flow in difficult situations. Learn more about cardiac surgery at GW Hospital >

Saving Lives and Limbs

In addition to the loss of limbs, vascular disorders could result in fatal or disabling strokes, or aneurysms. The Vascular Surgery Program at GW Hospital has the advanced equipment that physicians need to focus on early detection, treatment and prevention of circulatory problems. such amputations. Learn more about vascular surgery at GW Hospital >

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GW Wound Care and Limb Preservation Center
The George Washington University Hospital
900 23rd Street, NW
Lobby Level
Washington, DC 20037
Phone: 202-715-4325
Fax: 202-715-4085

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Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) therapy provides high-pressure oxygen in a pressurized cylinder, called a hyperbaric chamber. Breathing 100 percent pure oxygen increases the amount of oxygen in the blood to many times its normal level. Blood vessels deliver this "super" oxygenated blood to tissues throughout the body to help heal, fight off infection, decrease swelling, and aid in the growth of new blood vessels.

Read more >

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The George Washington University Hospital is owned and operated by a subsidiary of Universal Health Services, Inc.(UHS), a King of Prussia, PA-based company, that is one of the largest healthcare management companies in the nation.          

The George Washington University Hospital

900 23rd Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037

© 2015 The George Washington University Hospital. All rights reserved.

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