82b6dfbddb38f81417ef019b0381079178750107 Incision Care after Surgery | Healthy Living 101

today is Jan 20, 2022

              Taking care of your surgical wound after you go home from the hospital can help you encourage good healing and prevent an infection. There are numerous forms of surgical wounds that could become infected, in particular cesarean surgical incision play a significant function in women's health. Here’s a recommendation on how to take care of surgical incision after surgery and how to recover quickly.

OPEN OR CLOSED?

When you undergo an operation (“surgery”), your doctor makes a cut through your skin and the underlying tissues. This cut is called an incision. Many times, the incision is closed with sutures (“stitches”), staples or thin pieces of tape (commonly termed “steri-strips”). Other times, the incision is left open to heal on its own. Both sorts of incisions are prevalent. Let’s look at how to care for your open or closed incision.

BASIC INCISION CARE

Whether your incision is closed or open, you’ll need to follow some basic practices to care for yourself at home. Wash and wipe your hands thoroughly before touching your incision. Follow your health care provider’s written instructions for incision care. Watch your incision for symptoms of infection or the unexpected opening of a closed incision (this is called “dehiscence”) Monitor your overall health for signs of infection, such as a fever over 101F; call your health care provider if you feel an infection is developing

CARING FOR AN OPEN INCISION

If your doctor left your incision exposed to heal on its own, the incision will be covered with some form of covering. You should receive instructions regarding how and when to change the dressing. In general, you may utilize these steps to care for an open incision: Gather all your supplies and set them in a handy spot before you begin. Thoroughly wash and dry your hands with an antibacterial soap. Put on clean medical gloves. They do not need to be sterile gloves. Gently remove the dressing and throw it away. If the dressing adheres to the wound, you may soften it with saline solution. Do not take the dressing off dry skin unless your health care professional advised you it was OK. Remove your gloves and wash your hand again before proceeding. Using a piece of sterile gauze dipped in simple water with mild soap (or just plain saline solution provided by your doctor), carefully clean around the borders of the wound. Do not scrape the wound bed. Try to remove any adhesive residue from tape used to secure the old dressing. Apply any ointment or cream as advised by your health care practitioner. If you were not directed to apply any ointment or lotion, then do not do so. Do not apply any home cures or herbal concoctions to the wound bed or edges. Place a clean dressing over the wound. You may have been told to dampen the bandage before applying it. This is called a “wet-to-dry” dressing. Otherwise, just wrap the bandage material over the wound and tape it down or fasten it some other way. While you still have gloves on, discard the washing solution, old bandage and the gloves you’re wearing. Then wash your hands a final time.

CARING FOR A CLOSED INCISION

Surgical incision care depends on the type of closure utilized. Here are some general guidelines for common incision closures: Wash your hands before touching your incision. Sutures, staples, and steri-strips often do not require a bandage to be placed over them. If you have been directed to apply antibiotic ointment to the incision, ask your health care provider if it is ok to place a light covering over the wound to avoid the ointment from getting on your clothes. It’s usually OK to get sutures, staples and steri-strips wet. Unless you’ve been informed otherwise, you can shower as normal and gently pat the incision dry. For incisions closed with sutures or staples, your provider may urge you to coat the closed incision with a thin layer of antibiotic ointment. Do so after you’ve washed or otherwise gently cleansed the surgical line. Do not use any antibiotic ointment to incisions closed with steri-strips. Do not apply lotions, home remedies or herbal preparations to any surgical wound. If the incision is in your hair, be careful not to grab a suture or staple with your comb or brush and pull it out. Sutures in the skin generally must be removed. After removal, you may shower as normal and pat the wound dry. Do not use lotions or creams of any type on the wound after suture removal for at least five days. Steri-strips are supposed to fall off on their own beginning about 10 days following your operation. If the steri-strips do not come off on their own, you may gently peel them off in the shower after two weeks.

WHAT TO DO IF YOUR INCISION COMES APART

It is not at all uncommon for a suture to come loose or fall out. If this happens, your incision may start to break apart. This is called “dehiscence.” Do not panic in this case. The sutures in your skin represent only one of many layers of sutures holding your incision together. If your incision begins to dehisce, call your surgeon’s office for instructions on what to do. Generally speaking, incision dehiscence is not a huge concern.

WHEN TO CALL THE DOCTOR ABOUT YOUR INCISION It’s rare for a surgical wound to become infected, thanks to clean operating room practices. Many people confuse the fluids produced by natural wound healing for “pus” or infection. It is natural and typical for your incision to: Be painful Be red Be little irritated over the first few days Be numb along the incision line Produce clear or yellowish, sticky fluid Ooze blood for a few days True indications of an infected incision include: Fever exceeding 101F in an adult Flu-like symptoms, including nausea and vomiting, can occur seven to 10 days following the operation An isolated area of edema or bulging along the incision line Foul-smelling discharge from a bulging area Hot, red skin rash that spreads out in all directions from a focal place along the incision line It takes several days for an infection to develop. If you develop symptoms during the first three or four days following surgery, chances are you do not have an infection. Continue to monitor your symptoms and contact your surgeon’s office if you start feeling worse. OTHER TYPES OF

INCISION CARE AFTER SURGERY

Because of the many types of incisions used for various procedures, this article gives only a brief reference to incision care. If you have been sent home with a vacuum device, external fixation rods protruding from your skin or some other sort of surgical wound not discussed here, be sure to follow your surgeon’s instructions on how to care for your incision at home.

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