What is Debridement?
Often used to improve the healing potential of surrounding healthy tissue, debridement is the medical removal of damaged, infected, or dead tissue from a wound. As an essential part of the healing process for severe wounds and burns, debridement may also be used to treat certain types of snake bites.
The most common debridement methods include:
- Enzymatic Debridement: This rapid process uses chemical enzymes to promote the removal of dead tissue (hard eschar) from a wound.
- Autolytic Debridement: This virtually pain-free method utilizes the body’s own enzymes and moisture to re-hydrate, soften, and liquify dead tissue and slough present in the wound bed.
- Surgical Debridement: As the fastest type, this technique may involve the use of sharp surgical instruments or a laser.
- Biosurgery (Myiasis): This method uses sterile maggots to digest necrotic material and slough from the wound bed without damaging healthy surrounding tissue.
- Mechanical Debridement: This describes the removal of debris and necrotic tissue from a wound using mechanical force.