Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery, University of California-San Francisco (UCSF)
Medical Director of Microsurgery and Wound Care at St. Mary's Medical Center, San Francisco
Smith & Nephew is constantly raising the bar through innovation.
"Quite simply, I think Smith & Nephew has the best wound management and negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) products, and it backs them with excellent customer service," Dr. Lee says when asked why he prefers the Smith & Nephew RENASYS* NPWT Systems.
As an Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) and the Medical Director of Microsurgery and Wound Care at St. Mary's Medical Center, San Francisco, Dr. Lee is regularly called upon to treat a wide range of acute and chronic wounds, caused by reconstruction of the head and neck, breast, arms, lower extremities, as well as pressure sores and complex ulcerations.
"There really is no part of the body that I haven't treated with NPWT," he says. Over the course of his career, he estimates having used NPWT on more than 1,000 cases, and believes that the therapy has benefited his patients in every case.
Dr. Lee values the flexibility, convenience and efficacy of Smith & Nephew's comprehensive product portfolio for NPWT. "With NPWT, we have been able to decrease dressing change frequency. The resulting economic and patient comfort benefits are enormous."
With the Smith & Nephew RENASYS NPWT products, Dr. Lee appreciates that the company's focus on innovation has resulted in the next technological step for NPWT.
"It's reassuring to know that the company is constantly working to innovate and improve their superior products. Smith & Nephew is constantly raising the bar through innovation, which is what any clinician would want when working with a device company," he says.
He adds that the choice of gauze or foam dressing kits with the RENASYS systems allows for flexibility when determining an optimal course of treatment.
"While I originally preferred foam for NPWT, I have found that I don't have to staple the gauze as I do with foam, which allows me to change the dressing right on the floor rather than having to do another procedure on the patient. Again, this is advantageous, not only for the patient's healing and comfort level, but it also helps us avoid costly procedures and additional recovery time." Overall, Dr. Lee finds the RENASYS EZ's simplicity less confusing and its straightforward nature more powerful.
"There are other machines that have multitudes of bells and whistles, but I find that they have features that I don't need."
There have been several patients that have benefitted from the mobility afforded by the RENASYS* GO, which enabled shorter hospital stays and greater clinical success. Dr. Lee believes that Smith & Nephew is dedicated to optimal outcomes for patients. "The leadership and long history of wound care management puts the company in a leading position to offer the best products. The breadth and quality of their other wound management products, such as the ACTICOAT* and ALLEVYN* dressings and the VERSAJET* debridement tool ensures the same level of quality of products when taking a wide-ranging approach to wound management."
"As a plastic surgeon, more than 50% of my practice is reconstructive surgery and therefore I need to have high tech tools to help me deal with some of the large wounds I encounter. In fact, most of reconstructive plastic surgery is wound reconstruction."
"I am currently treating a patient where NPWT helped avoid amputation of the lower part of his leg," he says. The patient was a young, active rugby coach who suffered a tibia and fibula fracture in a collision with one of his players. Unfortunately, he developed complications including compartment syndrome. Because the patient lost an entire anterior compartment he developed a huge wound, which required several reconstructive surgeries. Throughout the process, any time the patient encountered wound complications Dr. Lee used Smith & Nephew wound care products.
"Every single time he had a wound issue, I surgically debrided it with a VERSAJET system and applied NPWT with the RENASYS EZ. These treatments allowed us to then move forward with the remaining procedures including transplanting tissue to close the wound and transplanting muscle and nerve to allow for his leg to function again."
Dr. Lee then conducted a skin graft and was able to send the patient home with a Smith & Nephew RENASYS GO NPWT System rather than have him remain in the hospital several more weeks. "Prior to having a portable NPWT system I would have never allowed a patient go home one day post-op, so this is a perfect example of greatly increased healing and patient comfort, while avoiding a lengthy hospital stay and reducing the risk of re-admission."
"I am certain we wouldn't have as much success with the complications we encountered with this patient without utilizing NPWT. In the end, we successfully avoided amputation on a young, active patient and he's now on his way to having a fully functioning leg again."
He says, "Given the sheer volume of wounds in the general population, having an efficacious means to treat them can have profound effects. In every single case that I've used the Smith & Nephew RENASYS NPWT System, it has been an integral part of the success we achieved."
The preceding testimonial was provided by Charles Lee, MD, FACS based on his clinical experience and use of the included products in his practice. Dr. Lee also provides consulting services to Smith & Nephew, lending his expertise in wound care to help increase patient outcomes through innovation and education.