Incision care after surgery
notice! Currently all patients will have
dissolvable stitches and there will be NO stitches to remove. If you
are unsure or see stitches that need to be removed, please email us or
call for directions. If you do have stitches, they would be
removed 10 days post op.
After surgery, you will need to take care of your incision as it heals.
You will need to keep the area clean, change the dressing according to
your doctor's instructions, and watch for signs of infection.
reduce the risk of infection:
Do wait 24 hours before
washing the incision area.
Do look at the incision
every day, checking for signs of infection (see below).
Do make sure to keep clean/dry dressing on your
incision. Wear your support band as long as possible.
Scrub or rub your incision
Remove any tape strips (such as Steri-Strips) from incisions if any are used.
Use lotion, creams, ointments,
vitamin oils, or powder on incision.
Expose incisions to sunlight
or tanning booths
Take a bath. Take showers until
your stitches are removed, and the incision is completely 'closed'.
During your shower, do not use
direct water pressure on your incision. For this reason you may wish to
leave your dressing on during your shower. Or, you may wish to cover to
cover the dressing with a plastic bag or use another method of keeping
'Never' leave wet or damp dressing
on your incision, immediately replace it with clean and completely dry
dressing after your shower.
During healing, you may notice some soreness, tenderness, tingling,
numbness, and itching around your incision. There may also be 'mild'
oozing and slight bruising, and a small lump may form. This is normal
and no cause for concern.
Signs of infection -
Call your health professional if
you notice any of the following:
Signs of an infection
A yellow or
green discharge that is increasing.
A change in the
odor of the discharge.
A change in the
size of the incision.
hardening of the surrounding area.
incision/skin around the incision is hot to the touch.
Fever more than
24-48 hours post op.
bleeding that has soaked through the dressing.
Changing a dressing
Before you start, make sure you have: gauze pads, surgical tape, a
plastic bag, and scissors.
supplies by opening the gauze packages and cutting new tape strips.
2. Wash hands
3. Loosen the tape around the old dressing.
4. Remove the old dressing.
5. At this point, you may want to clean the incision. (See instructions
6. Wash your hands
7. Inspect the incision for signs of infection.
8. Hold a clean, sterile gauze pad by the corner and place over the
9. Tape all four sides of the gauze pad.
10. Put all trash in the plastic bag
11. Seal plastic bag and throw it away.
12. Wash your hands.
To clean the incision:
Gently wash it
with soap and water to remove the crust.
Do not scrub
or soak the wound.
Do not use
rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, iodine, or mercurochrome, which can
harm the tissue and slow wound healing.
incision or pat it dry with a clean, fresh towel before reapplying the
normally cause some redness and swelling where the stitch enters the skin,
along with mild irritation and itching. As the wound heals and begins to
pull on the stitches, the soreness, especially when you move, may
increase. Some drainage from the incision may be expected for the first
few days after surgery, but if the discharge does not decrease after a few
days, becomes bright red with blood, or contains pus, contact your doctor.
Because of the way your incision is stitched the scar is healing on the
inside. Therefore the incision may feel hard to the touch. This is normal.
If the area around the incision (not the incision itself) becomes hard or
increases in pain, you may have an infection.
If you suspect you may have an infection or your pain has
increased, call your doctor as soon as possible.