Veteran's Health Library Menu

Health Encyclopedia

Treating Pressure Ulcers/Injuries with Surgery

A large pressure ulcer/injury is a threat to your health. Without surgery, these types of wounds can take a long time to heal. This can raise your risk for serious complications. If surgical repair is needed, your healthcare provider will review the goals of care with you. Also, eating a nutritious diet is recommended to help the healing process.

Wound flap and skin graft

The goal of wound flap and skin graft is to close the ulcer/injury and provide padding over the bony part of the body. Healthy tissue from another part of the body is often used.

A muscle flap is one of the best surgical interventions, since a flap holds its own blood supply. This allows for quicker healing.

A skin graft can also close the wound. A skin graft is when a piece of skin is transplanted to another part of the body. Living or artificial skin may be used.

Make sure you follow all your post-op care instructions. Otherwise, you may delay the healing process.

After surgery

Special care should be taken after surgery to aid the healing process. Try the following:

  • Keep pressure off the affected area.

  • Keep the sutures clean.

  • Make sure wound drains stay open.

  • Watch for signs of infection and blood blisters.

  • Watch for signs of impaired healing, such as a change in wound color or abnormal drainage.

  • Keep incision clear of stool and urine.

  • Don’t lie on the wound flap or graft, as directed by your surgeon.

To learn more

For more information, go to the Pressure Ulcer/Injury Resource mobile app.  

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 8/1/2018
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
Disclaimer - Opens 'Disclaimer' in Dialog Window | Help | About Veterans Health Library