Sometimes it goes even farther than that...
A couple of weeks ago, we received a call from a patient inquiring about a leg wound he has had for a long time. He is a burn victim and has had to have several surgeries over the years. The last surgery on the back of his leg near his Achilles tendon did not heal well and left him with an open wound. The doctor treating the wound has used a dressing method that has not allowed the wound to heal well. He was frustrated and concerned. He was visiting his daughter in Florida and through a series of coincidences, heard about MicroVas, a therapy that is designed to increase circulation to non-healing wounds. Upon returning to Houston, he investigated who had this therapy to offer and found my website.
He called and my front office team leader asked me what she should do, since he was set to leave for Alaska in 11 days for a three month work assignment. Eventhough we were booked, I told her to work him in that day. I explained to him and his wife that usually MicroVas, while effective, requires several weeks of therapy to close a wound. We could use it every day, but I was unsure how effective it would be. He wanted to give it a try.
The results he received from the MicroVas therapy was staggering. In nine treatments, we were able to reduce the size of the wound, which had not progressed in months, to almost half of what it was. Needless to say, he was thrilled! The dilemma we had was that this therapy was not available in Alaska. I suggested another wound healing therapy that I use on diabetic foot ulcers called Dermagraft.
Dermagraft is a bioengineered human skin substitute that serves as a biological dressing. While wounds generally heal from the outside in, Dermagraft forms a matrix of cells across the wound, enabling it to close more centrally as well. I have used Dermagraft to heal the most limb-threatening ulcers with great results. Unfortunately, Dermagraft was only now starting to be available in Alaska, and mostly in Anchorage which would be an eight hour round trip for my patient.
My representative for Dermagraft (who is awesome) contacted the rep in Alaska who reached out to the few podiatrists in the area close to where my patient was going to work. Fortunately, he found a forward thinking physician who was willing to try this therapy on my recommendation, despite not having used it before. I am sure it will be very successful healing my patient and I am excited to see him when he returns to Houston.
Let's look bigger picture. This podiatrist is now going to be able to use Dermagraft on his other patients with diabetic foot ulcers. In fact, Alaska has a growing number of cases of diabetes, in the native population and beyond, that will benefit from this therapy that until now has been unavailable anywhere in the state. The number of limbs and lives that can be saved by this therapy being available in Alaska will be immeasurable.
I truly feel like I made a difference this week.