Wound Debridement

What Is Wound Debridement?

Debridement is a procedure used to remove dead, damaged, or infected tissue from wounds. Wound debridement is designed for both acute and chronic wounds. Making sure to get the wound debrided helps to prevent infection. Several clinical studies recommend weekly wound debridement and they have higher rates of wound closure. Before the debridement, the office administers topical lidocaine and/or injectable lidocaine to numb the area and lessen the discomfort which can accompany the procedure.

Why Does My Wound Have to Be Debrided?

  • Wounds can heal much faster when dead tissue is not present. Dead tissue frequently traps bacteria which can cause infections.
  • New tissue cannot grow when dead tissues are present. Hidden pockets of pus could lie under the dead tissue which can also cause an infection.
  • Infections prevent the wound from healing and can get worse. It can lead to an amputation or a life-threatening condition if it gets into the bloodstream.
  • Routinely removing dead tissue keeps it clean and will help the wound to grow new tissue.

How Will the Dead Tissue Be Removed From My Wound?

There are a few ways to perform the debridement. The doctor may use one or more of them to remove dead tissue:

  • Sharp debridement: This can be performed every week. It keeps the wound clean and helps it to heal quicker. The dead tissue is removed with a sharp instrument. A dressing is then applied. Occasionally, a sharp debridement will have to be performed in the operating room.
  • Autolytic debridement: This pain-free. A moist wound dressing is used in combination with body’s ability to destroy dead tissue. This can be performed between visits. When it is used, the doctor may not have to perform a sharp debridement during the next appointment.
  • Enzymatic debridement: Occasionally called a chemical debridement, this is where medication is used to break down the dead tissues. It can be used in conjunction with a sharp debridement.
  • Mechanical debridement: Whirlpool, pulse lavage, or wet to dry saline dressings are employed. Healthy and new tissues can be affected however, so this is not used often.

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