Post op care is a service available to you following procedures such as joint replacements, cardiac, gynaecological, eye and other general surgery.
- Orthopaedic Surgery
- Oncology (Cancer) Surgery
- Burns and Plastics Surgery
- Gynaecology Surgery
- Cataract Surgery
- Cardiac Surgery
- Cosmetic Surgery
Interventions are planned and implemented according to your needs. Collaboration from hospital services/ GP and other community services is essential to ensure quality of care. Our nurses can recognise deteriorating trends and request relevant medical input.
The correct nursing plan at this intermediate stage of the process can enhance a speedy and safe recovery.
Surgical wounds need to be well cared for in order to heal rapidly without becoming infected. Surgical wounds are formed as part of an operation or if you have sustain trauma to your skin and require surgery to close the wound. Most surgical wounds are expected to be fully healed between 14 – 21 days post op. These types of wounds should not be disturbed too often within the first week after your surgery. Once your wound is a week old you should ensure you are cleaning and caring for it appropriately.
Showering is the best method of personal care when you have a surgical wound. This ensures dirty water is washed away from the wound. When your dressing is been replace after a shower the wound should be dried thoroughly. It can be dried patting a towel or using a hair dryer at the cool setting. This prevents fibres from the towel becoming embedded around the wound possibly causing infection. Surgical wounds can become itchy once it is over a week old. This is a sign the wound is healing. It is important not to scratch your wound as it will increase the size of your scar and could reopen the wound. Remember to always look out for any sign of infection such as pain, redness, hot to touch and/or discharge coming for the wound. If you suspect infection but you are unsure you should contact your nurse or GP immediately as early treatment is vital. Our nursing team have years of surgical experience and have an in depth knowledge of surgical wound management. We will liaise with your hospital and consult on the best wound care options for your recovery at home.
Vascular wound tend to affect the lower extremities of the body such as lower legs. Vascular wounds are chronic which means they can last more than three months.1% of people in Ireland suffer with a vascular wound. Vascular ulceration is usually caused by a number of factors and could affect arteries and veins. High blood pressure, high cholesterol and age related atherosclerosis are the main underlining causes of a vascular wound. Correct diagnosis is vital to warrant the appropriate plan is put in to place to aid wound healing. All clients should expect to be referred to a vascular consultant who will oversee treatment.
Vascular wounds can be cared for at home providing the correct support is in place. You should have your vascular wound evaluated and dressed once a week at minimum. Some wounds dressing need to be renewed more than once a week. Accurate wound management will aid and increase wound healing. You should ensure your nutritional intake is adequate. The Care Team dietician can set down a nutritional plan that supports wound healing. Our dietician will liaise with you Doctor if you require additional supplement treatment to enhance tissue development.
The Care Team have nurses experienced with compression therapy and can dress your wounds at home. We will monitor the progression of your wound, identify signs of infection or deterioration and report this to the relevant medical professionals.
Diabetic wounds also referred to as diabetic ulcerations occur as a result of poor circulation. Diabetics should make sure wounds are looked after particularly those sustained on the foot and lower legs. If diabetic foot ulcers are not treated properly it could result in amputation.
Clients who have diabetes are at a higher risk ofcomplications from wound healing. Diabetes decreases blood circulation which in turn slows down the healing process. Over time diabetes can lead to peripheral neuropathy (reduced feeling in hands or feet). If a client has peripheral neuropathy they may not notice an injury straight away.
Diabetics should make sure that their feet are well looked after. Avoid tight fitting footwear and always have your toenails cared for by a chiropodist. The Care Team can arrange a chiropodist to tend to your foot care in the comfort of your home. Our nurse will assess your condition and use a holistic approach to ensure your wound has the best chance of healing. Having a nurse care for your diabetic ulcer at home reduces the risk of cross infection obtained in a clinic or hospital setting with multiple users. We believe involving your GP and PHN will enhance the healing process and ensure the best possible outcome for you.
Pressure sores are wounds caused by staying in one position for too long. They start off by looking like redness of the skin to extremely deep wounds. Clients with reduced mobility are at most risk of developing pressure sores. Reduced mobility could be caused by being, bed bound, wheelchair bound, post-operative, post stroke, Parkinson’s, cancer, aging etc. Pressure sore tend to develop where bones are close to the skin, such as ankles, back, elbows, heels and hips.
Pressure sores can cause serious infections, some of which are life-threatening. If you are receiving home care it is essential that your carer understands how to prevent pressure sores. If you are receiving home care from The Care Team our nurse will calculate your risk of pressure sore development at your initial assessment. All our carers are supported by a nurse and are advised to report changes.
If you are at risk or currently have a pressure sore we will implement a specific plan to reduce and heal your wound. Our nurse will devise a care plan for you and your carer to follow such as;
• Changing position every two hours
• Using products that relieve pressure
• Skin care treatments
• Nutritional advice
Pressure sores can require a various treatments depending on what stage they are at. It is important that our nurse assess the sores and grade them. Once the grading is done, the correct wound care plan can be decided and applied. Advanced pressure sores are slow to heal so prevention is best. The Care Team has a range of services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, dietician and nurses that you can assess your care at home. Multidisciplinary care at home improves recovery and outcomes.
Every year new research shows that particular dressing and methods enhance wound healing. Nurse’s providing wound care at home must stay up to date with new and improved advances. The Care Team builds all our care packages around evidence based practice so that our clients have the best options available to them while receiving care at home. All our nurses undergo professional development on a yearly basis to enhance their knowledge.
Specialist dressings are used for clients who may not be responding to conventional treatment. Some clients are required to increase their hospital stay due to lack of resources in the community to manage the wound at home. Our experienced team of nurses will care for Specialist dressings such as:
VAC (Vacuum Assisted Closure) Therapy (also known as Negative Pressure Wound Therapy) can be used for a range of wounds. Our nurse will change your VAC dressing at home as instructed by your consultant. You will have a device (Pump) that you will be attached to you during the healing process. Vac therapy is very effective and can speed up healing in half the time. Our nurse will assess you in hospital before you come home and will be able to advise you on the care of your device to prevent complications. Most VAC dressing need to be changed every two days. It is important that your dressing is changed by a trained professional. Our nurse’s are experienced in VAC therapy at home.
Manuka Honey is one of the oldest treatments for wounds, but it is only in recent years clinical studies have shown that Manuka Honey treats infection. Manuka Honey works by killing the infecting bacteria and removing dead tissue. This is a dressing that you have changed at home and our nurse will guide you on the frequency based on the wound and the product used.
Compression therapy is a multi-layer bandaging technique used to apply sustained graduated firmness to legs. It is used in the management of venous leg ulcers and related conditions. Compression is the proven to be one of the best methods used for treatment or prevention of venous ulcers. It is essential that your use a trained professional when you are using Compression therapy at home to guarantee safe application and effective therapy.
Unna Boot is a type of compression dressing for varicose veins or ulcers. This dressing consists of a paste made of zinc oxide, gelatin, glycerin, and water. It is applied to the lower leg, covered with a multi-layer ace wrap bandages. Unna boot can stay in place for seven days at a time. You may require this treatment of a number of weeks. Most clients have this treatment care for at home.
Packing of a wound is used if a surgical wound is cleaned out and is too deep to stitch over. It is important that if a wound is tunnelling it is healed from the inside out to prevent further complications. For tunnel type wounds (sinus wounds) repeated packing and daily dressing is required. Wounds should heal quickly when packed correctly at home. Adequate pain relief prior to the dressing being change is essential. Our nurse will liaise with your Doctor to ensure that sufficient pain relief is prescribed for the duration of this treatment. Having the right support at home will make this treatment more comfortable for you.