Delayed Wound Healing

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Wounds include cuts, scrapes, scratches, and punctures. Wounds usually happen after an accident or injury. Surgical incisions, sutures, and staples also cause wounds. Delayed wound healing means that the wound has trouble healing or staying closed.

Avastin (chemical name: bevacizumab), a targeted therapy, is being studied in combination with chemotherapy medicines and Herceptin (chemical name: trastuzumab) to treat advanced breast cancer. Avastin may cause delayed wound healing.

Managing delayed wound healing

If you notice that a cut or surgical incision isn't healing properly, talk to your doctor immediately. If you're taking Avastin, your doctor may advise you to stop taking it.

Tips for wound care:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly (scrub them for at least 30 seconds with warm water and soap) before and after changing wound dressings.
  • Be careful when removing all dressings. If you pull too quickly or too hard, you may reopen the wound.
  • Clean your wound daily with soap and water or as directed by your healthcare professional. Rinse the area well and pat the wound and surrounding skin dry; don’t rub the wound.
  • Always use new dressings, gauze, or bandages.
  • Don’t pick at or try to remove scabs.
  • Eat citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, fish, and eggs. These foods have nutrients that help promote wound healing. During the healing process, your body needs increased amounts of calories, protein, vitamins A and C, and sometimes the mineral zinc.

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