Wound dehiscence is the medical term for wound breakdown, wound breakdown occurs when a wound opens after surgery because the incision breaks along the suture line. Anyone facing surgery should be aware of the possibility of this side effect and what it means. Here are five things to know about wound breakdown:
1. There Are Numerous Causes There are many reasons wound dehiscence can occur. It's not always due to some sort of mistake or negligence. Wound breakdown can be related to factors within the individual such as infection, diabetes, smoking, age, or poor nutrition. Even minor activities like sneezing or laughing can cause enough pressure to lead to a wound splitting. Previous scarring or the presence of certain types of medications contribute to wound breakdown.
2. Poor Healing Can Be a Red Flag If a wound is not healing well in an expected amount of time, this could be a red flag for wound breakdown. This is more likely the case if broken sutures appear along the incision line. Individuals experiencing wound breakdown should seek guidance from Dr. Katzen.
3. There Are Numerous Other Indicators The primary concern may be lack of healing, but there are a number of symptoms that people should know about that might indicate an issue in healing. Severe, continued pain at the incision site is one sign. In addition, look for things like fever, swelling, excess bleeding, drainage, or sudden opening of the wound.
4. Be Aware of Signs of Infection Along with the possible contributors listed above, infection is another one of the biggest causes of wound breakdown. Patients should be aware of the signs of infection so that they can be vigilant about the potential for wound dehiscence. Common signs of infection include fever, chills, nausea, loss of appetite, redness, odor, discharge or the presence of pus.
5. Fast Treatment Is Important Treatment for wound breakdown is possible. It's important to know the signs in order to receive it as soon as possible. Proactive treatment can prevent serious side effects or consequences related to prolonged wound breakdown. Dr. Katzen will usually take measures to treat the wound. Antibiotic ointment will likely be applied to the wound in order to keep infection at bay. If you notice any of these signs, contact Dr. Katzen today!