Open Accessibility Menu

Excela Health at Forefront of Wound Healing

Excela Health at Forefront of Wound Healing

Clinician’s Stellar Results With Fish Skin Graft Earns Aurora Award    

           GREENSBURG, PA,  February 20, 2023 … A clinician from Excela Health’s Advanced Wound Center will be among the presenters at the Northern Lights Wound Workshop in Reykjavik, Iceland February 23-24 as a recipient of an Aurora Award for his effective use of fish skin to promote healing.      

Excela Health podiatrist Patrick Roberto, DPM, is being lauded for his clinical case study which details the extraordinary patient results achieved in his inaugural application of products from Kerecis, a company that is pioneering the use of fatty-acid rich products to protect the human body’s own tissues while enabling the body to regenerate fresh living tissue. 

           While the human body can make most of the types of fats it needs from other fats or raw materials, that isn’t the case for Omega-3 fatty acids; the body can’t make them from scratch but must get them from foods. Omega-3s are an integral part of cell membranes throughout the body and affect the function of the cell receptors in these membranes. They provide the starting point for making hormones that regulate blood clotting, contraction and relaxation of artery walls, and inflammation. They also bind to receptors in cells that regulate genetic function. Likely due to these effects, Omega-3 fats have been shown to help prevent heart disease and stroke, help control lupus, eczema, and rheumatoid arthritis, and play protective roles in cancer and other conditions.

            Intact fish skin is rich in naturally occurring Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. When grafted onto damaged human tissue such as a burn or a diabetic wound, the material recruits the body’s own cells and is ultimately converted into living tissue.
           “The medical community has long known the dietary benefits of fish for other health conditions,” said Dr. Roberto. “Its anti-inflammatory properties were an added bonus in the wound healing process.”

          Over an eight-week period beginning in August 2022, Dr. Roberto utilized Kerecis products for the first time. His female patient had a bone-deep leg wound that failed to heal following surgical biopsy and debridement as well various topical treatments.  Applying what Dr. Roberto describes as fish flakes, the podiatrist was able to repeatedly layer the wound during weekly outpatient visits to the Excela Advanced Wound Center located on the Westmoreland Hospital campus and observe the speed with which healing occurred.

            “The patient’s documented progress, including the observation of fresh pink skin was nothing short of miraculous,” noted Dr. Roberto, who is now championing the use of larger fish skin grafts in the operating room environment.  His clinical case study is one of 36 being showcased at the scientific workshop designed to advance the knowledge of the utility of fish skin grafts for management of chronic wounds and lower extremity injuries.

         Other tissue-transplant products are based on tissues of human and porcine origin. These are not ideal substitutes because heavy processing is needed to eliminate the risk of disease transmission. This harsh, anti-viral treatment removes most of the material’s natural components, making it dissimilar to human skin.

           Developed and manufactured in Isfjordur, Iceland, Kerecis medical products are authorized for sale in Europe, United States, and other jurisdictions for human-tissue repair. Compared to mammalian-based skin substitutes, Kerecis offers improved economics and clinical performance, as well as reduced disease transfer risk and no cultural constraints on usage. The company’s mission is to become a world leader in regenerating damaged human tissues by sustainably harnessing nature’s own remedies. 

           To learn more about Excela Health’s Advanced Wound Center, visit and search wound.

Download PDF

PHOTO: Excela Health podiatrist Patrick Roberto uses Kerecis products in the Advanced Wound Center at Westmoreland Hospital, where clinicians also offer hyperbaric oxygen therapy among other treatments.