Wound Care in St. Petersburg, FL
Wounds that have not progressed through the normal process of healing and are open for more than a month are classified as chronic wounds
A 2018 retrospective analysis of Medicare beneficiaries identified that 8.2 million people had wounds with or without infections. The majority of wounds are due to Diabetes.
What can be done to treat Chronic Wounds?
There have been a variety of treatments available for chronic wound care. Amniotic tissue has received considerable attention from the scientific medical community for its ability to improve the speed of healing of a variety of wound types, including surgical, traumatic, pressure wounds, and wounds caused by diabetes or infection.
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How long has this treatment been around?
The human amniotic membrane has been used in wound care for almost a century. Also, with advancement of technology amniotic tissue can now be cleansed, dehydrated and sterilized, which means that the shelf life of amniotic membrane has been greatly increased simplifying storage and use of the product.
Where does Amniotic Tissue come from?
Amniotic Member is derived from living, healthy donors after a full-term pregnancy and a scheduled Caesarean section (C-section). Donors are healthy women who are thoroughly screened for communicable diseases. A careful medical and social history is collected in advance to ensure the mother meet all eligibility requirements.
Allograft products preserve the placenta and fluid, which are typically discarded. Tissues are then tested to ensure viability and safety. Once tested, these tissues are processed using the standards established by the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB). Their Allografts are sent to a fully accredited, CLIA-certified independent lab for sterility testing prior to release.
What is in Amniotic Membrane?
If you looked at the amniotic membrane under a microscope, you would see three different types of material:
- Collagen and extracellular matrix – The extracellular matrix provides structure and contains a number of specialized proteins, including proteoglycans, fibronectin, laminins and others. Several types of collagen add structural strength to the membrane. (5)
- Biologically active cells – The biologically active cells include stem cells, which function to regenerate new cellular materials within the lining of the membrane. Fibroblasts help to strengthen the tissue, and epithelial cells aid in the healing process via receptors on the cell surface. (5)
- Regenerative molecules – Regenerative molecules, which are important for growth and healing, are present in the amniotic membrane as well. These include numerous types of growth factors such as fibroblast growth factors, platelet-derived growth factors, metalloproteinases and others. Immunosuppressive cytokines prevent the amniotic membrane from being seen as ‘foreign’ by both the mother and infant’s immune systems. There are also a number of other specialized molecules, such as defensins which protect against bacterial infection (5)
How does Amniotic membrane help with wound care?
Amniotic membrane has a number of characteristics that make it especially suited to wound healing. The amniotic membrane:
- contains a significant number of cytokines and essential growth factors
- reduces pain when applied to a wound
- increases and enhances the wound healing process
- has antibacterial properties
- is non-immunogenic (will not be seen as foreign material)
- provides a biological barrier
- provides a matrix for migration and proliferation of cells
- reduces inflammation
- reduces scar tissue formation
How does Amniotic Membrane help with healing?
Amniotic Membrane helps chronic wounds heal in 4 ways:
- Faster healing time – Speedy healing times are essential to prevent chronic wound recurrence and minimize the risk of infection. Amniotic membrane is rich in human growth factors and cytokines which initiate the healing response. It also provides a flexible matrix to allow for the migration and rapid growth of cells, making it the ideal medium to facilitate accelerated epithelialization and reduce wound healing times. Research suggests that amniotic membranes have an effect on keratinocytes which allows wounds that were previously unable to epithelialize to heal with healthy granular activity. The healing progressed significantly quicker with amniotic membrane involved than when standard wound care treatments were used. (7)
- Reduced scarring – Wound fibrosis results in permanent scar tissue forming to replace the normal, parenchymal tissue, thereby altering the structure and function of tissues and organs. Preventing fibrosis is not only aesthetically important but also vital for preserving the barrier function of the skin. (7)
- Reduced risk of infection – An amniotic membrane allograft provides a protective biological barrier to the wound that prevents infection during healing while simultaneously creating an anti-bacterial layer on the wound. Studies have shown that mesenchymal stromal cells found in amniotic membranes inhibit the formation of fibrosis by reducing the production and retention of B cells which, in turn, modulates the activity of T cells to effectively minimize inflammation. (7)
- Pain relief – Amniotic membranes have powerful pain-relieving properties. Many researchers believe this is because amniotic membranes reduce inflammation, improve wound bed hydration, and form a protective barrier around exposed nerve endings. Studies have also shown that patients who had undergone a Caesarian section and had amniotic membranes applied to the wound required fewer analgesics than the control group. (7)
How much does Amniotic Membrane cost?
That all depends on your insurance policy. We will verify your policy for you, to make sure there is coverage. If you are covered, you will be responsible for your deductible, copay and co-insurance, just like with any other medical visits. We submit the claim to your insurance provider after the visit. Once that claim is processed by your insurance company, they will send you an “Explanation of Benefits” form that shows the billing details of the charge, including what your out of pocket expense will be. We will also receive the same information. If there is an out of pocket expense, we will send you a bill that matches what your explanation of benefits said from your insurance company.
How do I know if I can get Amniotic Membrane treatment for my chronic wound?
The first step is to verify that your insurance company will cover the treatment. To do that, we just need a copy of your insurance card and a photo ID. We will call them to verify that they will cover the procedure. Once you are approved, we will contact you and schedule an exam by the medical staff in our clinic. You will be scheduled to receive the treatment soon thereafter.
You will receive a first treatment with Amniotic Membrane. We do these treatments on either Tuesdays or Fridays. The medical staff will provide post treatment instructions as well. There will be mandatory follow-up visits. This is when the medical staff will perform another examination, review how your wound is responding to the treatment and determine if you should receive additional applications, based on medical necessity.
Where do you get the Amniotic Membrane product?
We get out product from a lab called Regenative Labs.
Who is Regenative Labs?
Regenative Labs is first-class, state-of-the-art professional lab. They have spared no expense when it came to the technology that was necessary to produce the quality regenerative products they expect for their customers. They determine all the protocols, policies and decisions regarding the lab and the result is the best and safest human tissue products available.
What quality controls are in place for Regenerative Labs tissues?
Donors are thoroughly screened for risk factors and clinical evidence of relevant communicable diseases. A careful medical and social history is collected in advance to ensure the donor meets all eligibility requirements. These tissues undergo extensive and comprehensive medical, social, and blood testing before processing. Only tissue cleared after this stringent screening regimen is processed and retested under standards established by the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) and FDA requirements. Every precaution is taken to eliminate the potential risk of infectious diseases through comprehensive testing following the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA) and 42 CFR Part 493 and the FDA. Regenative Labs verifies each step of the manufacturing process to ensure the most stringent safety standards are met and maintained, from start to finish.
What types of wounds can amniotic membrane be used on?
Traditionally, amniotic membrane has been used on burns; nowadays, however, amniotic membrane can be used on a wide variety of wounds. It is important to note that amniotic membrane should be used only after conservative treatment has failed. In other words, amniotic membrane may be used for wounds that are chronic and non-healing.
How soon will I see an improvement?
After one to two weeks the amniotic membrane allograft will be incorporated into the wound. You should begin to see improvement in the wound in terms of size and depth within 2 to 3 weeks, or even sooner. We can apply a second graft once slowing of wound healing has occurred, as typically observed by wound measurements over time. (6)