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What is Granulation Tissue?

Mary McMahon
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Granulation tissue is collagen-rich tissue which forms at the site of an injury. As the body heals, this tissue fills in the injury, and may eventually scar over. The scar may fade over time, especially if the wound is small. In some cases, the body produces too much granulation tissue, in a condition known as proud flesh, in which case medical treatment may be required to halt the overproduction.

The appearance of granulation tissue is a good sign. When a wound starts granulating, it means that the body is starting to rebuild after the injury. This highly fibrous tissue is usually pink because the body produces numerous small blood vessels to provide a supply of oxygen and nutrients to remove waste. It is also commonly bumpy and uneven, and may be moist to the touch. In the beginning, granulation tissue can look reddened and irritated, but this is simply because of the numerous blood vessels it contains.

In the case of proud flesh, the tissue overgrows. Doctors often treat this problem with topical applications which cauterize the granulation tissue so that it will stop growing, encouraging the body to move on to the next stage in healing. Sometimes more aggressive tactics such as surgery to remove the excess tissue may be necessary, depending on the specifics of the situation. A doctor can evaluate a given case and determine the most appropriate course for treatment.

People who have permanent catheters and ports implanted may develop granulation tissue around the site of the implant. This is especially common if the implant is not fitted properly or if it moves around, because the flesh is continually reinjured, and thus it produces granulation tissue to repair itself. It is important to maintain catheters, ports, and other implants with scrupulous care to avoid the development of granulation tissue along with complications like infections.

Sometimes, granulation tissue forms inside the body, and may cause stenosis, or narrowing. For example, if the trachea or esophagus are injured or irritated, the body can start to produce this fibrous tissue in an attempt at repair, and if it overgrows, these openings can narrow, causing difficulties with breathing and swallowing. There are treatments available for patients who experience conditions like tracheal stenosis, and people who are at risk may be advised to take steps to minimize the body's production of granulation tissue. It is not always possible to predict or prevent an overgrowth.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a The Health Board researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By anon963160 — On Jul 28, 2014

I had internal genital surgery five months ago and only recently have I experienced what my surgeon has identified as granulation. As it is internal, is there anything I can do?

My symptoms are a slight pinkish or brown residue when I clean myself up after going to the loo.

By anon344732 — On Aug 12, 2013

I had a belly button piercing and this happened to me. My doctor cauterized it, but told me to put my ring back in three days later. The hole closed and I have to get it repierced.

By anon164788 — On Apr 02, 2011

I had a laparoscopy to treat an ectopic pregnancy about 1-1/2 months ago. I felt better after the scab in my belly button came off and it seemed to be healing fine since.

However, now it appears as though I have granulation tissue there and it's leaky. I started wearing my belly ring again and, after reading about catheters that re-injure the area, I'm wondering if wearing the belly ring again could be the cause of this?

By closerfan12 — On Aug 01, 2010

@lightning88 -- Hey, I've heard of that. It is also used a lot for diabetic wounds, to encourage them to heal.

By lightning88 — On Aug 01, 2010

When I had a pretty serious cut on my leg (the bike accident from hades), they used a hyperbaric wound treatment unit on me.

Apparently these things can help enhance the granulation tissue and get the wound healing faster.

It works by pumping oxygen into the wounded area, and is supposed to be really good for people with catheter granulation infections and things like that, since those types of wounds may not get as much oxygen as they need to heal.

By pharmchick78 — On Aug 01, 2010

That is really good information about granulation tissue.

It really is so important to keep the area around any wound clean, even surgical wounds, because if the tissue becomes infected, it can be quite a problem

Among the methods that many doctors are using lately to keep granulation tissue clean are wound vacs.

These form a seal over the wound and provides negative pressure to help the wound heal and keep it clean.

It can also help to prevent infection around granulation tissue, which can really help the healing process.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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