Wound debridement is a surgical method in which a patient's dead, damaged or infected tissue is removed to fasten the healing process of the remaining healthy tissue. The infected or damaged tissue may be removed following many methods such as mechanical debridement, maggots therapy, mechanical, autolytic and chemical debridement. Wound debridement is a vital part for healing of burns and other serious wounds. It is sometimes used to treat snakebites .
Following an injury from a fatal accident or a bad wound, soft tissues usually require wound debridement. This means removal of dead tissues or foreign bodies and other contaminants such as pieces of wood, clothing, skin and hair from the wound.
- Once anesthesia is provided to the patient, the surgeon uses a scalpel to incise the damaged skin and open it to view the damaged tissues. Also, another incision is made in the opposite direction. The surgeon always takes care not to incise too deep, as it would cause harm to the healthy tissues.
- After the incision, the surgeon inserts a curved scissor in the wound to expose the unhealthy tissues.
- The scissor and tissue forceps are then used to destroy and cut the tissues below the skin to the perimuscular fascia (a group of fibrous connective tissues separating or binding muscles and organs).
- The surgeon weakens the fascia with scissors and cuts it. Surgeons cut the fascia in a generous way in order to expose the underlying damaged tissues. It's always said in medical terms "if the fascia is necrotic (affected by gangrene), cut it off right there."
- They work their way down to remove any foreign bodies and objects found in the wound.
- A damaged or bad muscle is characterized by its poor color which is blackish red, poor consistency which means the muscle is very loose rather than being firm, no contractility, which means it doesn't contract like normal muscles when you touch it and damaged muscles have poor circulation which means they won't bleed when cut.
- Once surgeons remove the damaged or devitalized muscles, they take a close look at that operated area, if it is transuding bright red blood, it means they have removed the damaged muscle and can move to the next area.
- During the procedure surgeons might come across some white or yellow fat which they handle very carefully, as it could be a nerve. If the fat is intact, the surgeons leave it alone and go ahead.
- The goal of this procedure should be to remove all the damaged and dead muscles, without hurting or taking out the healthy muscles.
- After the procedure the wound is loosely packed with a gauze bandage and covered with a loose gauze dressing, so that it can be examined again after a few days.
Wound debridement is as necessary as going for the surgery. Always cover your wound with dry dressing to control the bleeding. Later moist dressings are advised by surgeons to promote wound healing. Many factors contribute to wound healing, which takes a considerable amount of time. In some severe cases, even debridement procedure needs to be repeated.
There are certain creams as well which you can use to speed up the recovery process. One of them is silvadene cream. It is a special formulated cream which prevents infection and promotes moist wound healing. You need to have a prescription to purchase this cream. Consult your surgeon to get detailed information about the same.
Wound debridement is an assured procedure which can heal your wounds and help in speedy recovery. However, it is always better to consult a health care professional before you decide anything.