Treatment for Gangrene

People who have underlying conditions like compromised immune systems, diabetes and atherosclerosis and who have advanced cases of gangrene are most likely to have complications due to gangrene.    

Treatment for gangrene involves preventing its progression since the tissue damaged by gangrene cannot be saved. Some of these treatments include:

  • Surgery: The dead tissue is surgically removed, preventing the spread of gangrene and allowing the partially damaged tissue to heal. The surgeon may also repair damaged blood vessels in an effort to improve blood circulation to the affected area.
  • Amputation: In severe cases of gangrene, amputation of a digit or limb may be necessary to prevent the spread of gangrene. Prostheses may be fitted at a later date.
  • Antibiotics: Intravenous antibiotics may be administered to control infection.
  • Skin Grafts: Reconstructive surgery may be required to repair damage caused to the skin by gangrene. This can only be done in cases where adequate blood supply has been restored to the affected area.
  • Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: This form of treatment is used to treat cases of gas gangrene. The patient is made to sit in a pressurized chamber and pure oxygen is pumped in to about 2 ½ atmospheres. Blood is enriched with oxygen and under the increased pressure is able to supply more oxygen to the affected tissues. This slows the growth of bacteria that that thrive in the absence of oxygen. It helps wounds to heal more easily.
The treatment lasts for about 90 minutes and may need to be repeated thrice on the first day, followed by daily treatments twice a day for up to five days. It can leave a person feeling light-headed and tired afterwards. 
  1. Neil W Ahle, Murray P Hamlet, Enzymatic frostbite eschar debridement by bromelain, Annals of Emergency Medicine, Volume 16, Issue 9, September 1987, Pages 1063-1065, ISSN 0196-0644, (
  2. Mostafa M.H. Khalil, Eman H. Ismail, Khaled Z. El-Baghdady, Doaa Mohamed, Green synthesis of silver nanoparticles using olive leaf extract and its antibacterial activity, Arabian Journal of Chemistry, Available online 13 April 2013, ISSN 1878-5352, (