Principles of Healing

Wound healing begins immediately after the initial trauma or cut. Traditional descriptions of wound healing use three distinct but overlapping phases (inflammatory, proliferative, remodeling), whereas others use four phases to better describe the healing process. Surgical technique and smoking are modifiable risk factors for poor wound healing. Other factors affecting wound healing include anemia, diabetes, malnutrition, HIV infection, and cancer.

Trauma to surrounding tissue by the injury and surgical techniques (e.g., too much tension on sutures) may affect healing. Adequate oxygenation and blood flow are critical to good healing. Medications that affect healing include steroids, NSAIDs, and immunosuppressive medications.

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