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4 Wound Care Tips After Going Through Surgery

Aftercare procedures vary depending on type of incision

The recovery period of your incision after surgery can be heavily determined by how well you look after it. Correct aftercare can prevent infection and make the recovery period quicker, helping you get back to similar state before your injury in no time.

Closed incisions tend to have the same aftercare regardless of how they were patched up. For open incisions, the aftercare procedures can be much different to a traditional closed incision.

Surgery incision on the foot being healed
Depending on the type of incision and surgery, your wound will take time to heal.
Follow your surgeon's advice to take proper care of your wound to prevent infection
and to heal faster. (Image by Pixabay)

Cleaning your incision

Cleaning your incision takes more than just water under the tap. In order to keep your incision clean, thorough hand wash cleaning is required with warm water and soap. This prevents less chance of infection if you ever require to touch your incision to change your wound dressing, before you shower and before and after you use the restroom.

If your incision is still at the healing stage, showering each day is a good way to ensure it gets a thorough clean. Antibacterial soap is a good way to prevent infection but be sure to rinse the incision rigorously so no soap residue remains in the wound as this can irritate it. If you’re unable to shower, an alternative is to have a sponge bath.

Incision inspection

Inspecting your incisions daily are important, as this will allow you to monitor it’s progress regularly and check to make sure it’s not infected. It can be relatively normal for the incision to see signs of redness but this should settle as the incision continues to heal.

If you see that your incision is producing thick white/yellow/green pus, this is a great sign of infection and should be reported to your surgeon immediately.

Prevention for your incision opening

Considering your incisions open the skin, it can make the skin relatively vulnerable. This can occur particularly with abdominal incisions that can happen with mummy makeover procedures. This makes them ill-protected from remaining closed, which means it’s important to know how to brace your incision.

A top tip to prevent this from happening is applying a pillow gently against your incision if you feel the need to cough, sneeze or vomit. This will temporarily protect the incision and avoid your stitches from tearing.

How to avoid injury to your incision

A common method to good aftercare practice is causing further injury to your incision. To avoid this, there are 3 ways you can help your surgical wound:

Avoid heavy lifting

After your surgery has been performed, it’s likely that your surgeon will provide you with aftercare advice. One of the main points that they’ll make is ensuring that you don’t do any heavy lifting in your first few weeks after the surgery.

Refrain from entering sunlight

Exposing your wound to sunlight can increase the chances of scarring once the incision has healed. There is also the chance that you could gain sunburn, which can be extremely painful.

Stay away from “dirty” activities

Any activities that involve you getting dirty should be avoided. This can include events such as mud runs or entering a mud bath which can make the incision a higher chance of becoming infected.

Final thoughts

Your main focus during your recovery period is making sure that you look after your wound correctly and prevent the possibility of infection. Handling the incision with care will be crucial in aiding recovery. Where such cases occur that infection can’t be prevented, acting up on it as quickly as possible will help you to get the right care by your surgeon.

About the author

Jennifer Ranking is an experienced writer who takes her experiences from copywriting to construct her articles. Originally from the UK, she likes to write on a variety of topics including travel, health and business having worked with several businesses in the past through her freelance work.

Twitter: @jranking_

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