The Skin, Wound and Ostomy Care Department at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) addresses certain issues that may arise during cancer treatment, including:
- Slow healing surgical wounds or pressure ulcers
- Skin irritation/burns from radiation therapy (radiation dermatitis)
- Ostomy care (after colostomy, ileostomy, usostomy)
- Oral thrush or mouth ulcers (stomatitis) from chemotherapy
- Pleurx catheters, PEG complications
- Bed sores, other skin-related issues
The skin, wound and ostomy care team consists of wound care certified nurses who work closely with the rest of your CTCA care team, including your surgeons, gastroenterologists, dietitians, and oncology rehabilitation therapists.
A primary focus of the department is prevention and education. As experts in wound and ostomy care, your nurses provide education and support before and after certain procedures or treatments. The team can also teach you self-care techniques for once you return home.
The team addresses a variety of needs, including how to prevent bed sores, how to cut toe nails (for diabetic patients), proper dressing for wounds, odor control for ostomies, questions about showering, and lotions to use during radiation therapy.
In addition to basic skin, wound and ostomy care, the team provides palliative care to improve comfort. They also collaborate regularly with the hospital’s Education Department for ongoing staff education.
Patients with a variety of different cancer types visit the department, including inflammatory or recurring breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and head and neck cancer. You care manager is typically the one who schedules your appointments in the department.
The skin, wound and ostomy care team at Western
Niki Varlotta is an important member of the skin, wound and ostomy care team at CTCA at Western Regional Medical Center. Varlotta is a certified wound care nurse (WCC) and an oncology certified nurse (OCN).