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Debridement of wound, burn, infection

Home 9 Debridement of wound, burn, infection

Debridement of wound, burn, infection

Debridement is the removal of unhealthy or excessively damaged tissue from a wound. It assists the full healing of the wound. Debridement may be performed for a number of reasons. These include:

-To remove infected or wounded skin, dead cells or embedded dirt
-To create a cleaner wound edge to reduce scarring
-To facilitate the healing of severely burned or damaged skin
-To take a sample for testing

Before the Procedure

You will be asked to fast from the night before a debridement procedure. Pain medication will also be provided in advance of the procedure. The area will be cleaned and prepared before the procedure. Local or general anaesthesia may be used.


There are different forms of debridement and a procedure may include multiple forms. Debridement can be performed surgically or non-surgically. In the surgical method, specialist tools are used to remove dead tissue safely. Donor skin from elsewhere on the body may also be used in order to help a wound close.

Non-surgical debridement uses water or medication to remove dead tissue. It can also use wet dressing for the wound. This dressing then dries in the wound and brings dead tissue with it when it is removed.

Medication can also be used to help the wound heal. Surgical debridement can generally be completed in one session. Non-surgical debridement may need to be applied in several sessions over a number of weeks.


Surgical debridement is a safe and reliable procedure. However, it does carry some of the standard risks of surgery. These include infection, excessive bleeding, and loss of healthy tissue. People taking immunosuppressants, steroids or other medications may also have to pause use some time before the operation. Your surgeon will provide instruction on this so make sure to disclose any medications you are using.


After a debridement procedure, samples of removed tissue may be sent to a lab for analysis. There may be some pain during the recovery, and your doctor may prescribe medication to deal with this. Medication can also be used before changing the wound’s dressing to help to reduce pain. The discomfort should fade gradually in the weeks after the procedure. If you experience intense or persistent pain, inform your doctor.

It may take weeks for the wounds to fully heal. Wound care during this time is very important. Your doctor and medical team will provide comprehensive details about this and will monitor your recovery.

During your recovery period, you should contact your doctor if you experience any of the following:

-Signs of infection such as fever, chills, redness or swelling
-Excessive bleeding or discharge at the wound site
-White, blue or black tissue around the wound site
-Anaesthesia aftereffects such as chest pain, severe nausea, vomiting or shortness of breath
-Intense pain that is not adequately reduced by medication

These are all very rare side effects. Most patients recover successfully from debridement without any complications.

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