Haemostasis is the first stage of wound healing where the damaged blood vessels are closed. Platelets help to form clots and signal vessels to undergo vasoconstriction to aid in haemostasis. The platelets bind to the vessel wall, where the clotting process causes a fibrin mesh to form a stable vessel closure. This stage of wound healing can be assisted in surgery with the use of surgical techniques.
Though chronic inflammation can be damaging to our health, acute inflammation plays an important role in the stages of wound healing. During the inflammatory phase the immune system is working on the wound site, keeping infection at bay and cleaning up debris. This stage lasts for around 4 days and is associated with swelling, pain, erythema (redness) and warmth. Keeping a dressing on the wound is important to help apply pressure and absorb any haemoserous (blood and serum) fluid from the wound, which you might observe as ‘weeping’.
The proliferation phase lasts up to 3 weeks, depending on the size of the wound. The wound bed is proliferated with new subdermal and dermal tissues.
Maturation and Remodelling
This is where the scar starts to remodel and look like surrounding tissue. This is the key time to prevent permanent scarring and to start:
- Scar massage
- Silicone gels
- Scar oils and creams
Infection and Other Disruptions to Healing
Infection or any other interruption to the healing wound will extend any of the phases or even cause a complete halt. It is also likely to cause additional inflammation which will result in further discomfort and increase the chance of scarring. If you spot any signs of infection, you should make an appointment to speak to your doctor immediately. Signs of infection include redness, swelling, ooze, temperature changes and odours.
If you have any queries about your wound site after surgery with us, contact us today!