Surgical incisions require regular care to heal quickly and completely. Incision care also helps a person to avoid infection after surgery. There are two types of incision such as closed incision and open incision, which require different care. The closed incisions are often closed with sutures, staples, steri-strips, or surgical glue. The open incisions are left open for the surgeon to close at a later time. Here are some tips and guidelines that one needs to follow while taking care of surgical incisions.
- Cleaning a Surgical Incision:
A quick hand wash is not adequate to protect an incision from infection. The best way to clean the hands is by using warm water and soap. Below are the times when the handwashing should be done.
- Before touching the incision
- Before changing the dressing on the incision
iii. After using the restroom
- Before showering
Also, taking a shower with antibacterial soap at least once a day can be helpful. A shower can be the best way to clean an incision and remove soap residue. However, taking the doctor’s advice is mandatory. One should touch the area very gently while showering or cleaning. Drying the area immediately by dabbing gently with a cotton towel should be followed.
- Inspecting a Surgical Incision:
One should inspect the incision daily until it closes completely. Once it closes, the surgeon follows a further inspection to indicate that the person has finished healing from your surgery. Some redness along the incision line is common and it should fade slowly once the incision heals. Increasing redness or itching or burning are some indications of an infection. Also, if the area starts to feel warm or drainage is seen from the wound, these can be indications of infection. In such conditions, the person should immediately report to the physician.
- Preventing Injury to Incision:
Good incision care is preventing an injury to it. Usually, there are guidelines from doctors on how much one is permitted to lift after the surgery. One should avoid lifting any object heavier than 5 pounds for two weeks. Secondly, one should avoid too much sunlight as that can cause sunburn to the incision. Thirdly, dirty elements such as mud or other dust can get an incision injured. Hence, one should avoid mud baths, swimming in a pond, and similar activities until the incision heals.
During the post-surgery phase, taking time to wash hands and care incision should be the priority of the patient and the person’s family. Otherwise, an incision infection can lead to severe problems that may very long time to cure. Taking proper rest at home and following every guideline of the physician should be followed. Some patients need to take medicines during the post-surgery phase. For those patients, taking special care of the incision is suggested. With proper care, surgery wounds are sure to heal quickly and completely. However, if any sign of infection occurs even after taking care, the person should immediately consult the physician.
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