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Debridement is the removal of skin tissue that is dead or has an infection; the process is used in care for non-healing wounds to assist in recovery. Debridement helps to minimize scarring, reduce some complications of infections, and to stimulate the growth of healthy tissue. The Wound Care Center of Long Island is operated by the experts at Heart and Health Medical.  Learn more about debridement care for non-healing wounds.

Types of Debridement

Surgical Debridement

The wound is probed and cleaned using a metal instrument. The skin surrounding the wound is washed as to be cleaned and disinfected. The procedure is painful. Generally, the patient receives either local or general anesthesia. 


Non-Surgical Debridement

Autolytic Debridement

It is the use of enzymes and moisture from the patient’s own body to rehydrate, soften and remove non-viable tissue. 

Enzymatic Debridement

Chemical enzymes, created from microorganisms including clostridium, histolyticum, collagenase, varidase, papain, and Bromelian, are used to remove necrotic tissue

Mechanical debridement

Hydrotherapy is used to remove dead and unwanted tissue from a non-healing wound. It is a therapeutic use of water to irrigate the wound and use suction to remove the dead tissue with a syringe and catheter. 

Debridement wound care

Debridement is an excellent tool for stimulation healthy tissue growth and reducing bacteria to lower the chance of infections. But it is important to remember that the wound still needs to heal. During the healing process, it is essential to protect the wound.

  • Change the dressing regularly, as recommended by your doctor
  • Keep the dressing dry
  • Keep the wound clean
  • Avoid bumping the wound or applying pressure to it

Recovery from debridement surgery

Recovery from debridement is dependent on multiple factors and can be difficult to estimate, though most oftern recovery takes 6 to 12 weeks. The type of debridement is one factor as well as the severity of the wound, the size of the wound and the location. Consistent follow up with your doctor is key to success, they will inform you when the wound is fully and properly healed and when you can go back to work.  To improve your healing and recovery it is important that you eat healthy, get enough sleep and rest, avoid smoking tobacco, and do not over exert yourself. 

Complications of debridement

There is always a chance of complication when undergoing a medical procedure, no matter how simple r common it may be. While rare complications that can arise from debridement, particularly surgical debriedement are:

  • irritation
  • bleeding
  • damage to healthy tissue
  • allergic reaction
  • pain
  • bacterial infection

When to see a doctor

  • redness
  • swelling
  • excessive bleeding
  • new discharge
  • bad odor
  • fever
  • chills
  • nausea
  • vomiting