One of the most common complications to arise after surgery is surgery site infection, or SSI. Surgery site infections occur when bacteria and other pathogens multiply at the site where the incision was made, worsening the condition of the wound. If not dealt with, SSI can lead to severe and fatal complications, namely sepsis.
It is advisable to follow all the guidelines that the surgeon offers to you on post-surgery wound care to avoid infections. Read on to learn more.
Taking Care of Your Wound After Surgery
Changing the Bandage
A fresh incision should be covered at all times. Covering the wound with bandages reduces the chances of it coming into contact with pathogens and getting infected. Your physician will give you specific instructions on when and how to change the bandages when you get home.
Keeping the Wound Clean
The first step in keeping a surgery wound clean is to keep the surrounding skin clean and germ-free. You can clean the wound with a gauze and sponge pad. Dip the cloth in sterilized soapy water and wipe the entire area around the wound to eliminate bacteria.
You might also use an antiseptic to keep the area free from germs and other pathogens. The use of antibacterial soaps and peroxide is discouraged, as it irritates the skin around the wound and slows down the healing process.
Keeping the Wound Dry
Keeping the site of incision dry after leaving the hospital can be a challenge, but it’s definitely worth being mindful of. If you need to clean up immediately after the surgery, we recommend a sponge bath.
You can take a shower on the second or third day after the surgery. A shower is preferable to taking a bath, as it reduces the possibility of infectious germs getting in contact with the wound. You can also clean the wound with a wound cleanser.
Limiting Your Activities
The surgeon will close the incision with stitches. The stitches hold the skin together until it regenerates and patches itself back together. Performing strenuous activities could strain and even rip these stitches, so try to take it easy right after your surgery. Consult your doctor if you have any concerns.
Most stitches dissolve into the muscles and therefore do not need removal.
Get Wound Care Supplies
In case of the wound bleeds, you should replace the bloody bandage with a clean one immediately. If you are bedridden during the recovery period, consider buying bandages and tape, gauzes, medicated dressings, and irrigation products from Medical Supply Depot. You can even call (800) 967-6400 to place your order, and it will be delivered right to your doorstep.