What is Surgical Debridement of Bed Sores?

By Nursing Home Law Center

Surgical Intervention

Surgical debridement is when a surgeon uses a scalpel to remove the dead tissue, bone and fluid from the area around the bed sore.

Surgical debridement of the bed sore may be accompanied by 'flap reconstruction'. Flap reconstruction is when tissue is harvested from a healthy area of the person’s body to cover the open wound. The goal of reconstruction is to improve the hygiene and appearance of the wound and reduce the risk of infection.

Surgical debridement of bed sores has one of the highest complication rates of any surgical procedure. Recovery from the procedure is time intensive and painful. Therefore, the use of surgical debridement to treat bed sores is usually considered to be a last resort.

Most of the time surgical debridement is only considered in cases involving advanced stage bed sores. The concept behind the procedure is that skin needs to be free of dead or damaged tissue in order to heal. Even with the most advanced medical treatment, some bed sores require surgical intervention.

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