Debridement of a Wound, Infection, or Burn
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What is Debridement of a Wound, Infection, or Burn?

Debridement is the removal of unhealthy tissue from a wound to promote healing. It can be done by surgical, chemical, mechanical, or autolytic (using your body's own processes) removal of the tissue.

Surgical Debridement of Lower Leg Wound
Surgical Debridement of Lower Leg Wound
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Debridement is used to clean dead and contaminated material from your wound to aid in healing. The procedure is most often done for the following reasons:

  • To remove tissue contaminated by bacteria, foreign tissue, dead cells, or crusting
  • To create a neat wound edge to decrease scarring
  • To aid in the healing of very severe burns or pressure sores (decubitus ulcers)
  • To get a sample of tissue for testing and diagnosis

Possible Complications

Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are having a debridement, your doctor will review a list of possible complications which may include:

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Delayed healing
  • Removal of healthy tissue with mechanical debridement

Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

  • Infection
  • Pre-existing medical conditions
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Use of steroid or other immunosuppressive medicines
  • Poor nutrition
  • Poor circulation
  • Immune disorders

Call Your Doctor

After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

  • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
  • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding,...