Debridement is when dead or infected skin tissue is removed to help a wound heal. This procedure can be done to remove foreign material from tissue or debride dead tissue. Basically, it's used for wounds that aren't healing properly.
These wounds are usually trapped in the first stages of healing. The injury can restart the healing process once the bad tissue is removed.
Wound debridement is used to help healthy tissue grow. It can be used to minimize scarring and help to reduce complications of infection. Debridement is necessary if you are at risk of developing problems from an infected wound.
Debridement helps pressure sores or severe burns to heal. It’s used to procure a sample of tissue needed for testing.
There are different wound debridement types, and your wound could require a combination of any of the following methods.
Surgical sharp debridement uses surgical instruments and might include removing some of your healthy tissue. It's done by a surgeon, and you're under anesthesia. This type of treatment is only used if other methods aren't working or if you need urgent treatment.
Conservative sharp debridement uses curettes, scissors, or scalpels to remove dead tissue. Cutting doesn't extend to healthy tissue, and it's considered minor surgery.
Mechanical debridement is what is used most commonly. It uses moving force to remove dead tissue. Hydrotherapy is a method that uses running water to remove old tissue. It could be a shower treatment, a syringe, a whirlpool bath, or a catheter tube.
Autolytic debridement uses your body's natural fluids and enzymes to soften bad tissue. The moisture-retaining dressing is changed daily. Old tissue swells up and separates from your wound when moisture accumulates.
Enzymatic debridement or chemical debridement uses a gel or ointment with enzymes. The enzymes soften unhealthy tissue, and the enzymes can come from a plant, bacteria, or an animal. The medication to the area is applied once or twice daily, and the wound is covered with a dressing. The dressing is changed regularly, and dead tissue will be in the dressing when it’s removed.
Wet to dry dressing is when wet gauze is applied to your wound. After the gauze dries and sticks to your injury, then it's removed, taking the dead tissue with it. A monofilament debridement pad is a soft polyester pad that is gently brushed across your wound. It removes wound debris and bad tissue.
Biological debridement uses sterile maggots. These maggots are from the Lucillia sericata species, which is the common green bottle fly. This process is also known as larval therapy, biosurgery, and maggot debridement therapy. It is very rate to use maggots.
The maggots work by devouring old tissue. Plus, they control any infection by eating harmful bacteria and releasing antibacterial substances. The larvae are placed in a mesh bag which is kept in place with a dressing or directly on the wound. The maggots remain in place for 24 to 72 hours and are replaced biweekly.