Health Tip: Caring for a Surgical Incision

- It is important to properly care for a surgical incision after the procedure.

Here are instructions on how to do so and avoid infection, courtesy of the American Academy of Family Physicians:

  • Your bandage should be replaced each day for at least several days after surgery. If you're unsure about how many days to wear a bandage, speak with your doctor.
  • Use an antibiotic ointment as recommended by your doctor to prevent infection.
  • While some redness around the edge of the incision is normal, contact your doctor if the area becomes very red and swollen.
  • Keep the incision dry for at least 24 hours -- take a sponge bath instead of a regular bath or shower.
  • Avoid activities that will pull on the incision, such as lifting, straining, exercising or playing sports.

Posted: January 2008


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