Wound care center in South Bay

For most people, dealing with a wound is a simple matter. The body's natural healing process takes care of cuts, sores, spider bites and other injuries to the skin and underlying tissue. However, some wounds can become chronic (have trouble healing) and limit your ability to participate in daily life.

When left untreated, a chronic wound can become a serious medical condition. At Good Samaritan Hospital, our wound care center helps patients with non-healing wounds through a variety of therapies and treatments, including hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Our wound care center is located on our Mission Oaks Campus in Los Gatos, California. To learn more, call us at (408) 358-5670.

Types of wounds we treat

If you have a wound that has not begun to heal using conventional treatment methods within 30 days, your wound is classified as "chronic." In these cases, it should be evaluated by one of our wound care specialists.

We treat patients with a wide range of wounds and conditions, including:

  • Burns
  • Diabetic ulcers
  • Ischemic ulcers
  • Neuropathic ulcers
  • Peristomal skin irritation
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Surgical wounds
  • Traumatic wounds
  • Vasculitis
  • Venous insufficiency

Wound care therapies and treatments

If you have a wound that has not begun to heal within two weeks or is not completely healed after six weeks, you may benefit from our specialized wound management services. Our wound care doctors offer clinically proven treatments that promote faster wound healing and increased positive outcomes. We also use a multidisciplinary care model that addresses your entire health, not just your wound.

Patients at our wound care center may receive treatments that include:

  • Debridement
  • Diabetes education
  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT)
  • Infectious disease management
  • Laboratory evaluation
  • Nutritional management
  • Occupational therapy
  • Pain management
  • Physical therapy
  • Radiology testing

Hyperbaric chamber in San Jose

At Good Samaritan Hospital, patients have access to HBOT for wound care treatment. HBOT takes place in a pressurized hyperbaric chamber, where patients breathe in 100 percent pure oxygen. This quickly increases the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream. As a result, more oxygen reaches the wound site and leads to faster healing.

How hyperbaric chambers work

HBOT is an evidence-based treatment option known to promote faster healing in certain types of wounds. This therapy works by fighting off infections and building new blood vessels, which facilitate healthy tissue production. HBOT is an effective treatment option for diabetic wounds of the lower extremities, soft tissue radiation injuries, osteomyelitis and compromised skin grafts or flaps.

A typical HBOT course involves 90-minute sessions inside the chamber five days per week. Treatment typically spans four to six weeks.

Preparing for HBOT

Our hyperbaric chamber is made from a clear acrylic, so you can see what is happening outside the chamber during treatment. They are equipped with televisions and comfortable bedding, so patients can relax, sleep or watch a movie.

When coming to our hospital for your first HBOT treatment, please do not wear or bring:

  • Alcohol or petroleum based products
  • Flammable materials
  • Hearing aids
  • Makeup, nail polish, perfume or aftershave
  • Metallic items
  • Wigs or hairpieces, hairspray and hair oils

You also should stop smoking or using any type of tobacco product during the course of treatment. Tobacco use can prolong or prevent healing of a wound site due to its effect on the blood vessels.

Be sure to inform your technician about any medications you are currently taking or changes in medication during the course of treatment. If you are diabetic, please eat properly and continue to take prescribed medications to control blood sugar levels.

Additionally, please inform one of our staff members prior to treatment if you have:

  • Chills
  • Cold or cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Flu
  • Nausea
  • Sore throat
  • Vomiting

During HBOT

Once you are comfortably situated inside the hyperbaric chamber, the pressure will gradually be increased and the temperature will temporarily rise. When the desired pressure is reached, the temperature will be adjusted to your comfort.

Some patients experience fullness in the ears due to the increased pressure. Our technicians are available during treatment to instruct you on ways to clear the ear pressure and relieve discomfort.

Most treatments last 90 minutes. When your session ends, the chamber is returned to a normal pressure and the temperature will begin to cool.

Patients may experience temporary vision changes that should return to normal following completion of therapy. We recommend not changing your eye glasses prescription during the course of treatment. Some patients also feel fatigued during treatment, this is completely normal.

Appointments at our wound center

Our wound care center operates by appointment only and is located on our Mission Oaks campus. We are normally able to schedule an initial exam within a week of your call.

Most patients coming to our wound clinic are referred by their physician. However, we do provide wound healing services without a physician referral.

Your first visit for wound treatment

When coming for your first visit, please bring:

  • Copies of your past medical records
  • Health insurance card
  • List of current medications your are taking

During this visit, you will undergo a thorough diagnostic evaluation to identify the type of wound you have and any underlying conditions that may prevent healing. Your diagnostic exam may involve:

  • Imaging services, such as:
    • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
    • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
    • Ultrasound
  • Laboratory evaluation
  • Transcutaneous oxygen testing

After your first visit

After a diagnosis is determined, we will create an individualized treatment plan and thoroughly document the progress of your healing. You will visit the wound care center regularly throughout treatment, and we will educate you on at-home wound care and how to prevent further injury. We remain in contact with your referring physician to ensure you receive comprehensive care.