Biologic Wound Debridement

What is Biologic Wound Debridement

Biologic wound debridement is a treatment to remove dead tissue from a wound. This helps the wound heal. This treatment uses live maggots (fly larvae) to eat away at the dead tissue. Before the maggots are used for the procedure, they are cleaned of germs (sterilized).

The maggots eat away at only dead tissue. They do not eat healthy tissue. The maggots also eat harmful bacteria and leave antibacterial substances in the wound. These natural substances help the wound heal.

Biologic debridement is for wounds that are long-term (chronic) or keep coming back (recurring). This method may also be used for wounds that are new (acute). The procedure usually takes 48 hours. It is usually done in a hospital or clinic.

Tell a health care provider about:

  • Any allergies you have.
  • All medicines you are taking, including vitamins, herbs, eye drops, creams, and over-the-counter medicines.
  • Any blood disorders you have.
  • Any medical conditions you have.
  • Any surgeries you have had.

What are the risks?

Generally, this is a safe procedure. However, problems may occur, including:

  • Infection.
  • Bleeding.
  • Pain.

What happens before the procedure?

  • You may be given antibiotic medicine to help prevent infection.
  • You may have imaging tests done, such as an MRI.
  • Depending on your wound, you may need to have some surgery before this procedure. The surgery helps the body to restore blood flow and carry fluid to the wound (revascularization).

What happens during the procedure?

  • To lower your risk of infection, your health care team will wash or sanitize their hands.
  • The skin around the wound will be wiped with a substance that allows a bandage (dressing) to easily stick to the skin.
  • A dressing will be applied around the edge of the wound.
  • Maggots may be placed directly inside the wound using a clean cotton swab. Or, the maggots may be contained in a bag that will be placed in the wound. The number of maggots that will be used depend on the size of the wound.
  • Moist gauze will be placed over the wound and the maggots. The gauze will be moistened with a salt-water (saline) solution.
  • A dressing will be wrapped around the whole wound. The dressing will be kept moist with a saline solution.
  • The maggots and the dressings will be kept in place for 48 hours. You may stay in the hospital or clinic during the treatment.
    • The wound dressings may be checked every few hours.
    • You may be given medicine to help with pain.
  • After 48 hours, the dressings and maggots will be removed.
  • The wound will be rinsed out with a saline solution.
  • The wound will be covered with a clean dressing.
  • If some of the dead skin was not cleared out, the procedure may be repeated.

This procedure may vary among health care providers and hospitals.

What happens after the procedure?

  • You may be given medicine for pain.
  • You may be given antibiotic medicine. If antibiotic medicine was started before your procedure, you may continue to receive it.

Summary

  • Biologic wound debridement is a treatment to remove dead tissue from a wound.
  • This treatment uses live maggots (fly larvae) to eat away at dead tissue in the wound. The maggots do not eat healthy tissue.
  • Maggots will be placed inside the wound. The number of maggots that will be used depends on the size of the wound.
  • The procedure usually takes 48 hours, and it is usually done in a hospital or clinic.
  • Depending on your wound, you may need to have some surgery before this procedure. The surgery helps the body to restore blood flow and carry fluid to the wound (revascularization).

Biologic Wound Debridement, Care After

What can I expect after the procedure?

After the procedure, it is common to have:

  • Pain or soreness.
  • Stiffness.
  • Some leaking of fluid from the wound.

Follow these instructions at home:

Medicines

  • Take over-the-counter and prescription medicines only as told by your health care provider.
  • If you were prescribed an antibiotic medicine, take it as told by your health care provider.Do notstop taking the antibiotic even if you start to feel better.

Wound care

  • Follow instructions from your health care provider about how to take care of your wound. Make sure you:
    • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after you change your bandage (dressing). If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer.
    • Change your dressing as told by your health care provider.
  • Check your wound every day for signs of infection. Check for:
    • Redness, swelling, or more pain.
    • Blood or more fluid.
    • Warmth.
    • Pus or a bad smell.

General instructions

  • Do nottake baths, swim, or use a hot tub until your health care provider approves. Ask your health care provider if you may take showers. You may only be allowed to take sponge baths.
  • Return to your normal activities as told by your health care provider. Ask your health care provider what activities are safe for you.
  • Eat a healthy diet with lots of protein. Healthy sources of protein include nuts, whole grains, and lean meats. Ask your health care provider to suggest the best diet for you.
  • Do notuse any products that contain nicotine or tobacco, such as cigarettes and e-cigarettes. These can delay healing. If you need help quitting, ask your health care provider.

Keep all follow-up visits as told by your health care provider. This is important.

Contact a health care provider if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have pain that gets worse or does not get better with medicine.
  • Your wound is red or swollen.
  • You have blood or more fluid coming from your wound.
  • Your wound is warm to the touch.
  • You have pus or a bad smell coming from your wound.
  • Your wound is not getting better within 1–2 weeks of treatment.
  • You develop a new medical condition, such as diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, or a condition that affects your body’s defense (immune) system.

Get help right away if:

  • You have severe pain that does not get better with medicine.
  • You have shortness of breath.
  • You feel confused.
  • You have clammy or sweaty skin for no known reason.

Summary

  • After the procedure, it is common to have pain and soreness, stiffness, and some leaking of fluid from the wound.
  • Follow instructions from your health care provider about how to take care of your wound.
  • Check your wound every day for signs of infection.
  • Do not take baths, swim, or use a hot tub until your health care provider approves. Ask your health care provider if you may take showers.
15585

Sign up to receive the trending updates and tons of Health Tips

Join SeekhealthZ and never miss the latest health information

15856
Scroll to Top