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Treatment of superficial wound dehiscence; with packing

CPT4 code

Name of the Procedure:

Treatment of Superficial Wound Dehiscence; with Packing


Superficial wound dehiscence refers to the reopening of a wound that has only partially healed. The treatment involves cleaning the wound and packing it with sterile material to promote healing.


This procedure addresses the issue of a wound that has failed to close properly and is at risk for infection. The goal is to promote proper healing by keeping the wound clean, reducing infection risk, and allowing the tissue to heal from the inside out.


  • Recently reopened surgical or traumatic wound
  • Signs of superficial dehiscence such as redness, warmth, and drainage
  • Delayed healing in a wound that should be further along in recovery


  • Follow pre-procedure instructions provided by your healthcare provider
  • May include cleaning the area around the wound
  • No fasting or medication adjustments are typically required

Procedure Description

  1. The wound is first assessed by the healthcare provider.
  2. The area around the wound is cleaned with an antiseptic solution.
  3. The wound itself is gently cleaned to remove any debris or dead tissue.
  4. Sterile packing material, such as gauze, is inserted into the wound to keep it open.
  5. The packing helps absorb any drainage and encourages the formation of new tissue.
  6. A sterile dressing is then placed over the packed wound.


  • Antiseptic solution
  • Sterile gloves and gauze
  • Packing material
  • Sterile dressing

Anesthesia/Sedation: Typically, local anesthesia may be applied to minimize discomfort.


The procedure usually takes about 15-30 minutes.


This procedure is typically performed in an outpatient clinic or a hospital.


  • Nurse or Medical Assistant for initial wound preparation
  • Primary Care Provider or Surgeon for the procedure

Risks and Complications

  • Infection
  • Pain at the wound site
  • Allergic reaction to packing material
  • Prolonged healing time


  • Reduced risk of infection
  • Promotes natural wound healing
  • Minimizes further dehiscence issues


  • Follow care instructions given by the healthcare provider
  • Keep the wound clean and dry
  • Regularly scheduled dressing changes, typically performed by a healthcare professional
  • Report any signs of infection (redness, increased pain, fever)

Expected Recovery Time: Varies depending on the size and location of the wound but typically a few weeks.


  • Secondary closure (surgical reclosure of the wound)
  • Use of advanced wound care products like vacuum-assisted closure devices

Pros and Cons of Alternatives:

  • Secondary closure offers quicker wound closure but carries higher surgical risks.
  • Vacuum-assisted devices promote healing but may be more costly and require specialized equipment.

Patient Experience

During the procedure, the patient may feel some discomfort, especially during the cleaning and packing stages. Pain management typically involves local anesthesia. Post-procedure, there may be some soreness, which can be managed with over-the-counter pain medications and comfort measures such as rest and elevation of the affected area.

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