Returning home after surgery can be intimidating, especially if you haven’t had to take care of post-surgery wounds before. However, the wound care process is extraordinarily straightforward. As long as you are consistent, you should not encounter any problems with infection or discomfort.
When Should You Remove the Bandage?
Your doctor or nurse should give you precise instructions on when you should remove your bandage and how you should change it. Most surgical wounds will not need bandages for more than a week, but they are commonly used past that point to protect your wound from getting debris in it or being disturbed. Bandages should be changed daily at the minimum.
How Should You Keep the Surgical Wound Clean?
Once the bandage has been removed, you can gently clean the skin around your wound with a sterile gauze pad that has been soaked in soapy water or sterile water and salt. Never use antibacterial soaps, iodine, alcohol or peroxide to clean the wound, as they can do much more harm than good. Do not apply creams or lotions to the wound area without specific instructions from your doctor.
Many surgical wounds also require specific doctor instructions for cleansing, so ask your surgeon or nurse if you are not sure what to do. Always finish the cleaning process by patting the wound and surrounding area dry with more gauze or a clean cloth.
Should a Surgical Wound Stay Dry?
Never allow a surgical wound to get wet the day after surgery. Depending on the severity of your surgery and how the rest of your body is doing, you might be able to take a shower the second day after your surgery. Once you get approval from your surgeon to get clean, you should opt for a shower over a bath. Bathing in a tub will saturate the gauze and wound, which can soften the skin and cause the incision to reopen.
What If Your Wound Bleeds?
If your wound starts to bleed, you should apply pressure to the area for a few minutes with a piece of sterile gauze before re-bandaging it. If it does not stop after a few minutes, call your doctor.
Prioritize Wound Care for Your Patients with Vetters Enterprises
Vetters Enterprises specializes in practice management, private practice business support and revenue cycle optimization. We can perform in-depth assessments of your practice or facility and identify potential issues. Let us keep your business as healthy as you keep your patients! Give us a call at (443) 352-0088.