A systematic review on surgical and nonsurgical debridement techniques of burn wounds

K. A. A. Kwa, H. Goei, R. S. Breederveld, E. Middelkoop, C. H. van der Vlies, M. E. van Baar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To provide a complete overview of all burn debridement techniques studied in recent literature and to find the best evidence with regard to efficiency and safety. Method: A systematic review was performed. Searches were conducted in electronic databases such as PubMed, Embase, Cochrane, CINAHL, Web of Science, and Academic Search Premier. All studies published from 1990 onwards, on the efficiency and/or safety of burn debridement techniques in patients with thermal burn injuries of any age, were included. Primary outcomes were time to complete wound healing and time to complete debridement. Randomized trials were critically appraised. Results: Twenty-seven studies, including four randomized clinical trials, were included. Time to wound healing in the conventional tangential excision (seven studies), hydrosurgery (eight studies), enzymatic debridement (eleven studies), and shock waves group (one study) ranged from 13–30, 11–13, 19–33, and 16 days, respectively. Time to complete debridement ranged from 5–10, 4–23, and 1–9 days, respectively. Furthermore, secondary outcomes (including grafting, mortality, and scar quality) were compared between the debridement categories. Conclusion: Convincing evidence in favor of any of these techniques is currently lacking. Future studies regarding (new) debridement techniques need to use standardized and validated outcome measurement tools to allow improved standardization and comparisons across studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1752-1762
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019


  • Burn*
  • Debridement
  • Systematic review

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