How you treat your wounds after any type of surgery is imperative. Providing the ideal conditions for your incisions or wounds to heal ensures that you are not only getting the best aesthetic results, but it also helps to minimise any potential pain and saves you from infections.
Us here at Dr John are here to share some tips and advice on the best ways to recovering from your procedure. However, it may be important to note that these are only general points – your surgeon or doctor will give you exact instructions on how to care for your wound.
Keeping Your Wounds Clean
To keep your incision clean, the best way to do this is by soaking a clean, soft cloth or gauze in soapy water or a mixture of sterile water and salt. Don’t bother to use things such as skin cleansers, alcohol or peroxide – they can damage the skin around the wound and delay the healing process. Following this, gently wipe or lightly press the skin around the area around the incision.
Do I Have to Keep it Dry?
In short – no. But you shouldn’t let it get wet within the first 24 hours after surgery. Showering on the second day is likely to be fine, but it does depend on the type of procedure you had, and the incision itself. You should check with your doctor first.
It is also important to note that you should favour showers over baths, if possible. Fully submerging your incision can soften it and could prompt the wound to open again. If it is imperative that you take a bath, then it may be worth investing in a waterproof dressing, just to be safe.
Whilst showering, avoid putting soaps or any other bath products directly on to your wound while it is still healing. This can lead to infection. Upon drying, make sure to pat the area dry instead of drying with quick, tugging motions – this can irritate the wound, or pull the cut apart.
What if it Bleeds?
After surgery, it is common to have some minor bleeding. However, this should subside pretty quickly. If you find yourself bleeding a day after your surgery, applying pressure directly to the cut should make the bleeding stop. If you have soaked through your bandages, replace it with a new one.
Activities and Sports – When Can I Resume Exercise?
Generally, it is best to avoid any movement that affects the area surrounding your incision. Irritating this area could run the risk of pulling the incision apart.
When you can resume any physical activities is wholly dependent on what type of surgery you underwent; where the incision is and how big it is. Usually, your doctor will inform you of this – but this can be up to about a month after surgery.
Will I Have to Have My Stitches Taken Out?
If you have the type of stitches that are dissolvable or absorbable, they are most likely to disappear within a week or two, and you won’t need to have them removed by your doctor. Any other kinds of stitches or staples will be removed by your doctor – however, when you can do this is dependent on the procedure you have previously underwent.
When You Should See a Doctor
- If the pain won’t subside or is getting worse over time
- If the incision appears to be growing red or is swelling
- If the incision smells particularly bad
- If the incision is bleeding or oozing pus
- If the wound is appearing to grow larger or deeper
- You have a rising temperature