By Erin Pittman
Sponsored by Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center
When you or a loved one has a wound, you need specialized treatment to support you both emotionally and physically. That’s precisely what Sentara Wound Healing Center in Woodbridge prescribes for each and every patient. The center is a specialized, outpatient wound care treatment facility dedicated to the care of patients with chronic, non-healing wounds. Their multi-disciplinary team of experienced physicians, nurses and technicians are certified in wound care and work with patients to customize the most effective treatment plan to stimulate healing.
The Sentara Wound Healing Center Difference
“Sentara Would Healing Center is an outpatient wound treatment center that works with patients in our community. We offer appointments Monday through Friday. The center makes every effort to accommodate any new patients within 72 hours of their call to the center,” said Carol Shapiro, MD, MBA, FACS, Medical Director, Sentara Wound Healing Center.
Dr. Shapiro has been in her current role at the center since 2009. She is a board-certified plastic surgeon who joined Potomac Hospital when it opened in 1972. She enjoys working with patients who have compromised wounds and developing a plan to aid in healing.
“The team at our center is small and cohesive,” said Shapiro. “They genuinely care about each and every patient who walks through our door. Our team works with each patient to develop an individualized plan that utilizes best clinical practices to reach the goal of healing. Each patient’s referring provider remains involved in their care and receives ongoing reports of their patient’s progress, as well.”
Sentara Wound Healing Center offers state-of-the-art wound healing therapies including hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy, a medical treatment prescribed to enhance the body’s natural healing process. This high-pressure dose of oxygen helps blood carry more oxygen to organs and connective tissues to promote wound healing. HBO therapy also activates the white blood cells to fight infection.
“HBO was added to our program in 2019 and a number of patients have benefited from this therapy. HBO can be the primary therapy, or it can be used in conjunction with other treatments,” said Shapiro.
A Story of Success
Every year, hundreds of patients make their way to the Sentara Wound Healing Center. After three months of misery and unsuccessful visits to nearly a half a dozen doctors around the region, Andria Post became one of those patients and found herself in the office of Dr. Carol Shapiro.
Andria, an active 72-year-old, woke up one February morning with what looked like a bite on the back of her calf, just above her ankle.
“It started off as a dot, but just grew.”
Post visited several doctors with little luck, and her wound continued to grow in size and severity.
“No one seemed to know what was going on and no one was listening to me. I was in extreme pain,” she said.
Dr. Shapiro ran a series of tests and determined that Andria’s bump was the combination of an infection and a spider bite. After collaborating with medical professionals throughout the DMV, Dr. Shapiro developed a plan of care to help get Post on her feet again.
“Dr. Shapiro listened. She took valuable time with me and showed her concern from a doctor to patient,” says Andria.
With Dr. Shapiro’s expertise, Andria is now on the mend, “I’m elated to report the wound is healing with beautiful pink tissue, a rebirth of new skin. Cadaver grafting was not needed. The pain has diminished to barely a blip on the radar screen although I am still using a colorful walking cane for support.”
Dr. Shapiro notes there are some wounds and ulcers that are preventable with good skincare. This is of particular importance to diabetic patients but can apply to all patients.
“Please remember a couple of tips: Keep your skin moisturized and look at your feet daily. Do not ignore any wound that has not healed within two weeks. Please seek professional advice,” said Shapiro. “This will help quickly identify a small issue and prevent the need for advanced treatments.”
Sentara Wound Healing Center is located on the campus of Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center in The Potomac Center. Their address is 2296 Opitz Boulevard, Suite 130 in Woodbridge. To make an appointment or for more information, call 703-523-0660 or visit their website at sentara.com/wound.