A New St. Michael’s-Providence Initiative Is Tackling Painful Wait Times

October 04, 2018

​Thirty-year-old Trevor Kampen had been dealing with a painful pressure wound off and on for almost a decade.

After a string of unsuccessful treatments, he's confident he's finally on the right track.

Kampen, who was born with spina bifida, was the first patient to take part in a new clinical collaboration between St. Michael's Hospital and Providence Healthcare, which could eventually help double the number of pressure wound surgeries performed at St. Michael's each year.

It can be shocking for patients and their family members to see how severe a pressure wound can worsen, says Dr. James Mahoney, chief of Plastic Surgery at St. Michael's.

"These go all the way through your skin down to the underlying bone," Dr. Mahoney says. "These are very significant and deep and often associated with complications."

Previously, it was a struggle for Dr. Mahoney to find facilities that could take on a patient for the six-to-eight weeks of recovery time after surgery.

"I had actually stopped doing the surgery for more than a year because I did not have the rehab space to provide patients," Dr. Mahoney says.

"The surgery is only one little part," he adds, "my surgery can be undone in one episode if something is not done correctly in the rehab process."

After a few days of recovery at St. Michael's, Kampen was transferred to Providence. Interdisciplinary care teams at both sites kept in close contact as his treatment progressed, often sharing updates electronically so Kampen wouldn't have to be transferred for follow-up assessments by Dr. Mahoney.

Post-discharge, Kampen has seen significant health improvements now that his wound is gone.

"My health has been a lot better and my walking has improved greatly since the surgery," says Kampen.

"I'm now able to return back to work slowly and to enjoy the outdoors."

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