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Wound Dehiscence


Wound dehiscence happens when part or all of a wound comes apart. The wound may come apart if it does not heal completely, or it may heal and then open again. A surgical wound is an example of a wound can that develop dehiscence. Most surgical incisions that fail to heal come apart about 1 week after surgery. Wound dehiscence can become life-threatening.


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.


Proper rest is needed for wound healing. Your healthcare provider may have you rest in a certain position. Do not get up until your healthcare provider says it is okay.


  • Pain medicine may be given. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.
  • Antibiotics may be given to help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.


  • Your vital signs will be closely monitored. Vital signs include your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing.
  • Pulse oximetry measures the oxygen level in your blood.


  • Blood tests may be used to find signs of infection, or to check liver and kidney function. Healthcare providers may use blood tests to get information about your overall health.
  • A wound culture is a test of fluid or tissue used to find the cause of your infection.


  • Daily wound care includes examining, cleaning, and dressing your wound.
  • Treatments may be used to help the wound heal. Healthcare providers may put medicine on your wound. They may also need to use a vacuum device to pull fluid from your wound.
  • Splints or binders may be used to provide support and hold the area near your wound still.
  • Debridement is a procedure healthcare providers use to remove damaged, dead, or infected tissue to help the wound heal.
  • Stitches may be used to close your wound. Your healthcare provider may instead leave the wound open to heal from the inside out.


A wound that fails to close can become life-threatening. It may cause infections throughout your body. When abdominal wounds split open, your intestines can come out.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.