Dr. Anthony Zizzamia, DPM, Podiatrist, Center for Hyperbaric Medicine & Wound Healing at St. Catherine of Siena Hospital
What is your background?
I am a native Long Islander and graduated Kellenberg Memorial High School. I graduated from Adelphi University, magna cum laude, with a bachelor of science in biology. I then completed medical school at the New York College of Podiatric Medicine in Manhattan. I had an interest in wound healing and hyperbaric medicine, which led me to St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, where I completed a four-year residency. My training included wound care and limb salvage and surgical correction of high impact injuries (open fractures and gunshot wounds). Additionally, I was train in advanced surgical techniques to correct other deformities such as bunions, flat foot, and other podiatric related procedures. I have been an attending physician at the wound care center since 2018.
Why are you passionate about wound healing?
Wound care is a challenge that requires experience and a methodical approach to treating the wound and the patient. A large portion of patients with wounds have one—if not many—medical conditions which gives each wound its own identity. I believe my passion is rooted in the healing of wounds and the expression on my patients faces when a wound they have had for months or years has finally resolved. Their joy and excitement is what fuels me.
Why is a wound care center different than going to your office for treatment? When is it necessary?
I believe any wound noted by a patient to be delayed in healing should have an evaluation at the center. A wound that is lingering is often a sign of an underlying condition, which some might miss or overlook The center is much different from any private office. You are not likely to find the combination of the experienced nursing staff and physicians powered with advanced wound care options such as grafts and wound medications elsewhere that we have available to us.
Are there any misconceptions around hyperbaric oxygen therapy that you’d like to clarify?
I believe most misconceptions have been proven wrong over the past few years. Hyperbaric Medicine, also known as HBO, works. Patients who undergo HBO not only heal faster many times, but the “impossible” noted wound, heals as well. Patients should know that HBO does not work alone but only in conjunction with weekly local wound care.
What sets you apart as a provider?
This question challenges my modest nature. While confident in my wound care abilities and skilled, this is not what I am most proud of. The single most common compliment I hear from patients and from the nursing staff is that my bedside manner is far and above the average doctor. I’ve been told countless times that my personality and compassionate approach to patients is my best quality. I take pride in my patients feeling comfortable with me and unique treatment plans. With compassion comes understanding of a patients’ values, goals, and of course, personal issues as to how they got in the current situation.
What can a patient expect on their first visit with you?
A patient can expect an evaluation of the wound as well as an evaluation from head to toe. As I mentioned earlier, the cause of the wound is usually due to multiple issues, sometimes undiagnosed. Many times, I will send them for some, if not all of the following: blood work, imagining such as MRI and/or X-ray, and also consultation from another specialty such as vascular or endocrinologist.
How does treatment proceed from there?
I treat each wound as its own entity. No two wounds are the same. Each treatment plan proceeds differently but appropriately for each patient.
What types of patients can benefit most from the expertise you provide?
Patients who can most benefit from my expertise fall in to two categories.
- Long-Standing Chronic Wounds - Many times patients come to me for a second opinion on wounds that have not healed for months or even years in some cases. I am proud to say most of these cases have come to resolution under my care.
- Acute Wounds - Burns, traumatic wounds, gangrene, venous stasis, pressure wounds and diabetic wounds are all very treatable in a short period of time with the appropriate care.