Manjulatha Badam, MD, CWSP, UHM, of Vayu Advanced Wound Clinic & Hyperbarics, is well-known for providing highly effective wound care at her busy San Antonio, Texas, practice.
Dr. Badam shares information about surgical debridement and why it’s an essential step in advanced wound care.
What is surgical debridement?
Surgical debridement uses scalpels, scissors, and other surgical tools to remove debris and dead or diseased (nonviable) tissue from an open sore (ulcer), wound, or burn.
Typically performed in-office with local anesthesia to prevent discomfort, debridement reduces the risk of new or worsening infection and promotes faster and more effective healing. The procedure also helps decrease scarring following wound healing.
Why would I need surgical debridement?
Wounds normally proceed through a rather complex healing process that requires an extra supply of blood-borne oxygen and growth factors delivered via your circulatory system to ensure adequate tissue regrowth and subsequent injury closure.
Dead (necrotic) or nonviable tissue prevents these natural healing substances from reaching the wound. This increases your risk of infection and causes inflammation that strains your body’s ability to close the wound.
Necrotic tissue also prevents adequate visualization and evaluation of the wound bed. This is necessary when formulating an effective treatment strategy or gauging your response to current therapies.
Types of wounds treated with surgical debridement include:
- Diabetic foot ulcers
- Pressure ulcers (bed sores)
- Venous ulcers
- Radiation injuries
- Failed skin graft
A large avulsion injury, during which skin layers are torn away (avulsed), typically requires surgical debridement. These injuries, often related to trauma like sliding on gravel or asphalt during an accident, usually require immediate and ongoing specialty care.
Surgical debridement is only one step in advanced wound care. Your course of treatment may include additional therapies such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy, collagen dressings, and other specialized treatments that aid healing.
What should I expect during surgical debridement?
At Vayu Advanced Wound Clinic & Hyperbarics, we make every effort to ensure your visit with us is as comfortable and pain-free as possible. That includes discussing the rationale and details of the procedures we recommend.
Your experience may vary depending on the type of wound you’re experiencing. But surgical debridement usually begins with saline irrigation to thoroughly cleanse the wound and remove loose debris.
Debridement is typically quick, and a topical anesthetic applied before the procedure prevents discomfort.
We provide detailed instructions regarding aftercare and usually recommend that you arrange a ride home from the office to prevent unnecessary stress or discomfort following surgical debridement.
Schedule an evaluation today for more information about surgical debridement or other services we offer at Vayu Advanced Wound Clinic & Hyperbarics. Call the office or request an appointment online.