Wound Care

DIABETIC FOOT CENTER OF SEATTLE

Dr. Hoy is a specialist in diabetic foot and wound care.  (Click here to read a diabetic foot and ankle surgeon fact sheet.)  He works to prevent patients from losing their feet.  He has worked extensively with at-risk patients (e.g. patients with diabetes, Hansen’s Disease, Buerger’s disease), and has a passion for this work.   He has practiced in some of the hardest hit areas of the country, including:

• The Veterans Affairs Hospital in San Francisco, California, which performed the most diabetic foot surgery in the San Francisco Bay Area when Dr. Hoy was a resident physician.

• San Antonio, Texas, a world center of excellence for research on the diabetic foot.

• The Swedish Cherry Hill Wound Healing Center in Seattle, where Dr. Hoy worked as an attending podiatrist.

The Problem.  At risk patients may have poor nerve sensation, called peripheral neuropathy, that makes them unable to feel sharp objects or sores in the feet, leading to infections.  Patients may also have poor blood circulation to the feet, called peripheral vascular disease, which prevents nutrients and infection-fighting cells and antibiotics from getting to the feet.  This may cause infections to spread quickly, or tissues to die, also called gangrene.  Some common risks of the above include diabetes, smoking and alcohol abuse.  People with diabetic foot wounds have a higher mortality rate than Hodgkin’s Disease, breast cancer and prostate cancer, so limb preservation is very important.

The Solution.  One component of treatment is prevention.  For at-risk patients Dr. Hoy performs regular examinations to limit their risk of limb loss.  For example, making sure nails and calluses are trimmed back to a safe length and thickness to prevent sores from developing under or around them.  Dr. Hoy also orders circulation testing and appropriate follow up if necessary.  If there is a limb threatening infection or wound, Dr. Hoy is experienced in biomechanically-based wound care, hospitalization, consultation with other specialists, and surgery to clean out and remove infected parts of the foot, or to reconstruct the foot to prevent future wounds from occurring.