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Debridement is the medical removal of dead, damaged, or infected tissue from a wound in order to improve the healing potential of the surrounding healthy tissue. It is an important part of the healing process for serious wounds and burns, and may also be used to treat certain kinds of snake bites.

Methods of debridement include:

  • Autolytic debridement: This virtually painless process uses the body’s own enzymes and moisture to re-hydrate, soften, and finally liquefy hard eschar (dead tissue) and slough present in the wound.

  • Biosurgery (Myiasis): This technique uses sterile maggots, which digest slough and necrotic material from the wound without damaging the surrounding healthy tissue.

  • Enzymatic debridement: This rapid process utilizes chemical enzymes to facilitate the removal of dead tissue from a wound.

  • Mechanical debridement: A method of removing necrotic tissue and debris from a wound using mechanical force.

  • Surgical debridement: Sharp surgical debridement, along with laser debridement, is the fastest method.

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