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Specialty absorptive dressing, wound cover, sterile, pad size 16 sq. in. or less, without adhesive border, each dressing

HCPCS code

Name of the Procedure:

Specialty Absorptive Dressing, Wound Cover, Sterile, Pad Size 16 sq. in. or less, Without Adhesive Border, Each Dressing (HCPCS Code: A6251).


This procedure involves the application of a sterile, specialty absorptive dressing designed to cover wounds. The dressing is less than or equal to 16 square inches in size and does not have an adhesive border. Its primary function is to absorb exudate and maintain a moist wound environment, promoting healing.


  • Medical Conditions: Designed to treat acute and chronic wounds, such as pressure ulcers, surgical wounds, trauma wounds, diabetic ulcers, and other exuding wounds.
  • Goals: The dressing aims to absorb excess wound exudate, preventing maceration and infection, while maintaining a moist environment conducive to healing.


  • Patients with wounds producing moderate to heavy exudate.
  • Patients without adhesive sensitivity where adhesive borders might not be ideal.
  • Individuals requiring frequent dressing changes without skin irritation from adhesives.


  • Pre-procedure Instructions: The patient should clean the wound area with a recommended wound cleaner or sterile saline.
  • Diagnostic Tests/Assessments: Initial wound assessment by a healthcare professional to determine suitability for the absorptive dressing.

Procedure Description

  1. Cleaning: Start with wound cleaning using sterile techniques.
  2. Drying: Pat the surrounding skin dry to ensure the dressing can be applied securely.
  3. Application: Place the sterile absorptive dressing over the wound, ensuring complete coverage.
  4. Securing: Use secondary dressing methods such as gauze, bandages, or tape to secure the absorptive dressing in place.
  • Tools/Equipment: Sterile gloves, wound cleaner, sterile saline, the specialty absorptive dressing (A6251), gauze or bandages for securing the dressing.
  • Anesthesia/Sedation: Not typically required for dressing application.


The procedure of applying an absorptive dressing typically takes about 10-15 minutes.


The dressing can be applied in various settings, including hospitals, outpatient clinics, home care settings, or skilled nursing facilities.


  • Primary care providers such as nurses or wound care specialists.
  • Trained caregivers can also apply the dressing in home-care settings.

Risks and Complications

  • Common Risks: Skin irritation, allergic reaction to dressing materials.
  • Rare Risks: Infection if the wound is not properly cleaned before application or if the dressing is not changed regularly.


  • Expected Benefits: Absorption of excess exudate, reduction in wound size, decreased risk of infection.
  • Realization Time: Benefits can often be noticed within a few days of consistent dressing changes.


  • Post-procedure Care: Regular monitoring of the wound, changing the absorptive dressing as needed (typically every 1-3 days or as per the clinician's recommendation).
  • Recovery Time: Depending on wound size and severity, healing times may vary, but improvement is typically observed within a few weeks.
  • Follow-up: Regular follow-ups to monitor wound healing and make any necessary adjustments.


  • Other Options: Hydrocolloid dressings, hydrogel dressings, foam dressings, alginate dressings.
  • Pros and Cons:
    • Hydrocolloid and hydrogel dressings provide hydration but may not absorb as much exudate as absorptive dressings.
    • Foam dressings are also absorbent but may be bulkier.
    • Alginate dressings are suitable for highly exudative wounds but require a secondary dressing.

Patient Experience

  • During the Procedure: Minimal discomfort during application.
  • After the Procedure: Some pressure might be felt from securing dressings but usually, no significant pain. Pain management would include over-the-counter pain relief if necessary.
  • Comfort Measures: Ensure a proper securing method for the dressing that avoids slippage and minimizes discomfort. Regular monitoring and professional guidance to adjust the dressing as needed.

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