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Dressing change (for other than burns) under anesthesia (other than local)

CPT4 code

Name of the Procedure:

Dressing Change under General Anesthesia (Non-Burn Wounds)


A dressing change under general anesthesia involves replacing the wound dressings for non-burn injuries while the patient is asleep. General anesthesia ensures that the patient does not experience pain or discomfort during the procedure.


The procedure is typically required for managing chronic or extensive wounds that need meticulous wound care, which may cause significant pain or distress if done while the patient is awake. The goal is to ensure proper wound healing and to reduce the risk of infection.


  • Chronic wounds such as diabetic ulcers or pressure sores.
  • Large or deep non-burn injuries.
  • Patients who experience severe pain or anxiety during dressing changes.
  • Wounds requiring extensive debridement or cleaning.


  • Patients may be asked to fast for several hours prior to the procedure.
  • Adjustments to medications, particularly blood thinners, may be necessary.
  • Pre-procedure assessments, such as blood tests and anesthesia evaluations, are conducted.

Procedure Description

  1. The patient is brought into a sterile operating room and connected to anesthesia monitoring equipment.
  2. General anesthesia is administered by an anesthesiologist.
  3. The existing wound dressings are carefully removed.
  4. The wound is cleaned and, if necessary, debrided.
  5. New sterile dressings are then applied to cover the wound.
  6. The patient is gradually awakened from anesthesia and monitored during recovery.


Typically, the procedure takes around 1 to 2 hours, including preparation and recovery from anesthesia.


The procedure is usually performed in a hospital operating room or a surgical center.


  • Surgeons or wound care specialists to perform the dressing change.
  • Anesthesiologists to administer and monitor anesthesia.
  • Nurses to assist with the procedure and patient preparation/recovery.

Risks and Complications

  • Common risks: Infection, bleeding, or reaction to anesthesia.
  • Rare risks: Wound dehiscence (reopening), delayed healing, or severe allergic reactions to anesthesia.


  • Reduced pain and anxiety during the procedure.
  • Improved wound healing outcomes.
  • Decreased risk of infection due to meticulous wound care.


  • Patients will be monitored in a recovery area until the effects of anesthesia wear off.
  • Specific wound care instructions will be provided.
  • Follow-up appointments will be scheduled to monitor wound healing.
  • Most patients can return to normal activities within a few days, but this can vary.


  • Local anesthesia dressing changes: Less risk but higher pain and discomfort.
  • At-home dressing changes: Convenience but potentially less thorough wound care.

Patient Experience

  • Patients will not experience pain during the procedure due to general anesthesia.
  • Post-procedure soreness can be managed with prescribed pain medication.
  • Some grogginess or mild nausea may be experienced as the anesthesia wears off.

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