Wound Care Instructions
Care of your wounds after surgery is very important to ensure a quick recovery and to minimize the chance of infection. Here is a list of good practices:
- Keep your incisions clean and dry
- Elevation minimizes swelling which helps wound healing
- Change your dressing every other day to maintain a clean environment unless otherwise instructed
- Leave “steri-strips” or butterfly bandages in place
Here are things you should avoid
- Do not let your extremity dangle or swell
- Do not remove the “steri-strips”
- Do not adjust or remove any sutures or staples
- Do not use creams, ointments, vitamins, scar reducers or other products on the wounds
- Do not take a bath, swim, go in a pool/hot tub or otherwise submerge the wound until you are instructed that you can or at least 2 weeks have passed
- by day 3 if no drainage is present the incision should remain uncovered and keep clean clothing only covering the sites.
- Do not allow pets to sit on your lap or sleep in your bed for at least 6 weeks following surgery. Pets may harbor fleas or mites or other organisms that may cause a wound infection!
Showering: You may start showering as soon as your first dressing is removed if waterproof bandages or “op-site” dressings are covering your wound to keep them dry. If you do not have waterproof dressings, you may get the wounds wet 5 days after surgery with running water in the shower. At this point you may use mild soap on the wounds. Do not scrub the wounds. Pat them dry with a clean towel after showering and place a fresh clean bandage.
Splints or Casts: If you have been placed in a splint or cast after surgery (your dressing will have a very hard plaster or fiberglass layer), DO NOT REMOVE or adjust it. You must leave it in place until your follow-up visit. If it is bothering you or you are having problems with the splint or cast, call the office ASAP to have it checked and/or adjusted by Dr. Petre or one of his team. If you want to shower with your splint/cast, you must keep it dry in a cast bag, available at most pharmacies or OSMC orthotics department.
If you should have any questions or concerns regarding you incisions, the best thing to do is to take a digital picture of the incision and e-mail it to a member of Dr. Petre’s team. .