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What are the treatment options for gangrene?

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Quick Answer

The treatment options for gangrene include surgery, maggot therapy and oxygen therapy, according to WebMD. Although the treatment depends on the type of gangrene, it basically involves the removal of the dead tissue and the treatment of the underlying condition.

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Full Answer

When the blood supply fails to reach the tissues due to underlying conditions such as illness, infection or injury, gangrene occurs, explains WebMD. This disorder mostly affects toes, limbs and fingers. Due to its serious nature, a patient with gangrene should seek immediate medical care.

The surgical treatment of gangrene involves the removal of the dead tissue to curb the spread of the disorder, states WebMD. Surgery may also involve the removal of the affected finger, toe or limb.

In maggot therapy, sterile fly larvae maggots are placed over the wounded spot and allowed to eat up the dead tissue while sparing the healthy tissue, reports WebMD. The maggots also release antibacterial substances that enhance the healing process.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy may be suitable in treating wet gangrene or ulcers triggered by diabetes or peripheral artery disease, WebMD explains. It involves putting the patient in a special high-pressure, oxygen-filled chamber and allowing the oxygen to saturate the patient's blood in order to enhance the healing of the affected cells.

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