anybody know about wound vacs?

seof
seof Member Posts: 819 Member
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Fellow survivors, it has been awhile since I got on this site, but I have a question.

Brief background: dx may 2007, chemo, bilat. mastectomy with implants Dec. 2008, radiation, more chemo, done Feb. 2009. July 1 2009 = reconstruction surgery...bilateral DIEP free flap procedure. Abdominal incision is slow healing so Dr. is going to start with wound vac this upcoming week (probably Tue).

Question(s): Has anyone had experience with a wound vac? Does it hurt to get it installed, or to have it repacked when they come every 3 days? How long is the battery life (how long can it stay unplugged at a time)? Anything else I should know?

I await your replies with bated breath. Thanks, seof.

Comments

  • cruf
    cruf Member Posts: 908
    Hi!
    Hi Seof! I'm so glad you posted. I've missed all your good posts and hoped all was well with you. I have treated people w wound vacs but don't know the answers to your questions. I will ask tomorrow at work and see if anyone can help . HUGS!!! Cathy
  • mlmjt1
    mlmjt1 Member Posts: 537
    Hi seof
    Im a homecare nurse and have been working with wound vacs for a very long time.

    If you have a slow healing wound, the wound vac is your best option to get it healed quickly. The wound vac basically consists of a black foam material that is cut and gently placed into a wound. If there are areas that tunnel under the skin then the clinician will use a white wet foam to pack it. The wound then is covered with a clear sticky plastic like material to secure it. Then the clinician cuts a small hole thru the clear plastic material right over the wound and places what they call a track pad over it. This is a round soft plastic disc which is attached to a tubing that attaches to the vac unit. THis is secured with the clear plasticy sticky material. The tubing attaches to the vac unit which is relatively small. You can carry it around in a fanny pack. THere is a little cannister which is designed to collect the drainage. When the unit is turned on, then the suction begins. The black foam in the wound sucks down and draws all the yucky drainage out and promotes healing by promoting blood flow to the area. I have done wound vacs on bedsores, leg wounds, chest incisions, abdominal incisions and never have I had any of my patients complain of pain ever.

    WE change the vac dressings on monday wed and friday. The unit can be set on constant or intermittent suction depending on what the md orders. If the dressing is secured correctly than the unit is perfectly silent. If you see fluctuations on the suction pressure on the unit or if the unit is noisy it usually means that there is a leak and that its not sealed well enough with the clear plasticy material and then you need to have it redone.

    I should know what the battery life is on the unit but I cant remember.

    I had a diabetic bilateral amputee who smoked with a 4 inch diameter bedsore about 1 inch deep on his coccyx. He had the wound for over 2 years. WE used the vac in 1999 when the company was just testing it and his wound healed in 6 months after trying everything...and that was a compromised patient.

    Please dont be afraid of this treatment. I had a wound after bilateral mastectomy in may and asked for the vac but my doctor closed it in the or instead.

    The wound vac is THE BEST wound care intervention I have seen in home health in 24 years of working in the field

    ANy questions post again
    I will be watching for you

    Hugs
    Linda T
  • cruf
    cruf Member Posts: 908
    mlmjt1 said:

    Hi seof
    Im a homecare nurse and have been working with wound vacs for a very long time.

    If you have a slow healing wound, the wound vac is your best option to get it healed quickly. The wound vac basically consists of a black foam material that is cut and gently placed into a wound. If there are areas that tunnel under the skin then the clinician will use a white wet foam to pack it. The wound then is covered with a clear sticky plastic like material to secure it. Then the clinician cuts a small hole thru the clear plastic material right over the wound and places what they call a track pad over it. This is a round soft plastic disc which is attached to a tubing that attaches to the vac unit. THis is secured with the clear plasticy sticky material. The tubing attaches to the vac unit which is relatively small. You can carry it around in a fanny pack. THere is a little cannister which is designed to collect the drainage. When the unit is turned on, then the suction begins. The black foam in the wound sucks down and draws all the yucky drainage out and promotes healing by promoting blood flow to the area. I have done wound vacs on bedsores, leg wounds, chest incisions, abdominal incisions and never have I had any of my patients complain of pain ever.

    WE change the vac dressings on monday wed and friday. The unit can be set on constant or intermittent suction depending on what the md orders. If the dressing is secured correctly than the unit is perfectly silent. If you see fluctuations on the suction pressure on the unit or if the unit is noisy it usually means that there is a leak and that its not sealed well enough with the clear plasticy material and then you need to have it redone.

    I should know what the battery life is on the unit but I cant remember.

    I had a diabetic bilateral amputee who smoked with a 4 inch diameter bedsore about 1 inch deep on his coccyx. He had the wound for over 2 years. WE used the vac in 1999 when the company was just testing it and his wound healed in 6 months after trying everything...and that was a compromised patient.

    Please dont be afraid of this treatment. I had a wound after bilateral mastectomy in may and asked for the vac but my doctor closed it in the or instead.

    The wound vac is THE BEST wound care intervention I have seen in home health in 24 years of working in the field

    ANy questions post again
    I will be watching for you

    Hugs
    Linda T

    Great explanation!
    Great explanation Linda! Much better than I would ever be able to do. Good luck Seof! It is a great way for healing. HUGS!! Cathy
  • mlmjt1
    mlmjt1 Member Posts: 537
    Hi agan seof
    I checked the website for the wound vac and found that the battery life of the kci freedom unit is 12 hours.

    If you want to see more google kci wound vacs and you will see what the unit looks like. It also explains how the vac helps wounds heal

    Take care

    Linda T
  • survivorbc09
    survivorbc09 Member Posts: 4,374 Member
    No, sorry I don't know, but,
    No, sorry I don't know, but, it is good to see you posting again.
  • Alexis F
    Alexis F Member Posts: 3,598

    No, sorry I don't know, but,
    No, sorry I don't know, but, it is good to see you posting again.

    I don't know anything about
    I don't know anything about them, but, I hope that someone can give you some information.


    Wishing the best!



    Hugs, ♥ Lex
  • mlmjt1
    mlmjt1 Member Posts: 537
    Hi seof
    Just wondering how things are going with you

    Did you end up getting your wound vac and if so hows it going?

    Let us know
    Hugs
    Linda T