Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
195 Little Albany Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08903-2681
Your doctor will perform surgical debridement to remove dead tissue from in and around your wound.
Wounds can result from a variety of causes, including: injuries, burns, bedsores, also called pressure ulcers, or decubitus ulcers, and infected surgical incisions.
Dead, damaged, or contaminated tissue can compromise circulation to your wound. In addition, the unhealthy tissues are prone to infection.
Dead tissues invite bacteria to grow, which compete with growing cells for nutrients and interfere with the healing process.
The wound’s healthy tissues may become infected. The infection may develop into a pocket of pus called an abscess that impedes wound healing.
A wound resulting from a burn may form a hardened crust of dead tissue, called an eschar, that can prevent healthy tissue growth and healing.
Before your procedure, your doctor will numb the area around your wound with local anesthetic. For more extensive debridement, you will receive general anesthesia.
To begin, your doctor may use saline or disinfectant solutions to wash, or irrigate, your wound.
Next, your doctor will evaluate the depth of your wound, checking the extent of the dead tissue.
Your doctor may remove a rim of tissues from around your wound, to create a clean margin of healthy tissue and improve healing.
At the end of your procedure, your doctor will place a dry bandage in your wound to manage any bleeding.
He or she may also cover your wound with moist dressings to encourage healing.
After your procedure, you should follow wound care directions very carefully.
Be sure that you protect your wound from injury, and keep the wound and its dressings clean and dry.