How should I care for my wound after surgery?

Here are tips on how you can care for your wound after surgery:

If your wound is closed with staples: If your doctor closed your wound with staples, you'll get instructions on how to clean the area and change the dressing. Your doctor may want you to leave the dressing on as long as it is clean and dry or may want you to change the dressing. The staples will be removed by your doctor or physical therapist.

If your wound is closed with steri-strips: On your surgery site, you may have special strips of tape called steri-strips. Steri-strips help keep the skin closed while it heals. Leave the steri-strips on until your healthcare provider tells you it's okay to remove them. It's okay to get the steri-strips wet in your shower -- just gently pat the area dry when you are done.

Showering: Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, you can shower once you are home and can safely move in the bathroom. Getting in and out of the shower can be very tiring. The heat from the shower can be soothing, but it may make you more unsteady. At first, you'll need help with your shower so you won't fall. Use a tub bench or chair in the shower.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.