Incision Care

An incision is when a surgeon cuts into your body tissues. After surgery, the incision needs to be cared for properly to prevent infection.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Take all medicine as directed by your caregiver. Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver.

  • Do not remove your bandage (dressing) or get your incision wet until your surgeon gives you permission. In the event that your dressing becomes wet, dirty, or starts to smell, change the dressing and call your surgeon for instructions as soon as possible.

  • Take showers. Do not take tub baths, swim, or do anything that may soak the wound until it is healed.

  • Resume your normal diet and activities as directed or allowed.

  • Avoid lifting any weight until you are instructed otherwise.

  • Use anti-itch antihistamine medicine as directed by your caregiver. The wound may itch when it is healing. Do not pick or scratch at the wound.

  • Follow up with your caregiver for stitch (suture) or staple removal as directed.

  • Drink enough fluids to keep your urine clear or pale yellow.

SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You have redness, swelling, or increasing pain in the wound that is not controlled with medicine.

  • You have drainage, blood, or pus coming from the wound that lasts longer than 1 day.

  • You develop muscle aches, chills, or a general ill feeling.

  • You notice a bad smell coming from the wound or dressing.

  • Your wound edges separate after the sutures, staples, or skin adhesive strips have been removed.

  • You develop persistent nausea or vomiting.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You have a fever.

  • You develop a rash.

  • You develop dizzy episodes or faint while standing.

  • You have difficulty breathing.

  • You develop any reaction or side effects to medicine given.

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.