Complex Wound Care

You may have a wound that has failed to heal in the time frame expected or that is deeper than the skin. These complex wounds often need extra care. Our plastic and reconstructive surgeons work together with the providers at the Guthrie Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine to create a plan for successful healing.

In some instances, complex wounds require surgical treatment. A process called surgical debridement removes unhealthy tissue. Surgical reconstruction is another treatment and may include skin grafts or a transfer of healthy muscle or skin flaps with the assistance of reconstructive microsurgery to maintain circulation to the closed wounds. We also use bioengineered skin substitutes to assist with wound healing. Examples of these skin substitutes include:

  • Oasis Ultra: a naturally derived, intact porcine (pig) small intestine tissue
  • Integra Bilayer Matrix Wound Dressing: An advanced wound care device comprised of bovine (cow) collagen and a silicone layer
  • Alloderm: an acellular human dermis
  • Gamma Graft: an irradiated human skin graft

Types of wounds commonly treated by Guthrie plastic surgeons include:

  • Venous stasis ulcers
  • Pressure ulcers (bed sores)
  • Diabetic foot ulcers
  • Non-healing surgical wounds
  • Arterial ulcers
  • Traumatic wounds
  • Bone infection (Osteomyelitis)
  • Gangrene
  • Skin tears / lacerations
  • Burns


Whether you have an acute burn or skin injury, or a concern about scar tissue or a skin condition, our plastic and reconstruction team can help. When treating burns, teams from plastic and reconstructive surgery, trauma, wound care services, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and nutrition work together on an appropriate care plan.

Acute burns and conditions:

  • Burns (thermal, chemical, electrical and radiation)
  • Frostbite
  • Skin conditions (such as Epidermolysis bullosa, Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN))
  • Assistance with burn assessment and triage to accredited regional burn centers

Delayed reconstruction performed after burns include:

  • Contracture release (Z-plasty release, excision and skin grafting, or laser release)
  • Cosmetic scar improvement (laser treatment, abrasion, or steroid injections)
  • Reconstruction of specialized areas burned in the past (nose, mouth, ears, hands, genitalia)