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Taking care at home

  • Preventing surgical site infection

Preventing Surgical-Site Infection

What you can do after your surgery

You and your family are partners with your surgeon and the staff in contributing to the prevention of a surgical-site infection. Here are some ways you can participate and help prevent infection after surgery.

  • Do not touch your incision.
  • Keep your hands clean. Ask the nurse if you need assistance.
  • Notify the nurse if your dressing is damp, loose, or soiled with blood or other material.  

After discharge from the hospital

  • Do not touch your incision.
  • Protect your incision from injury. If you have been instructed to walk with a cane or walker, follow instructions to prevent a fall.
  • Avoid tight clothing that may rub and irritate the incision, or interfere with wound healing.
  • Keep the dressing in place for as long as instructed by your doctor.
  • Pets can be comforting but may also be curious about your incision. Protect your incision until it is healed.
  • If you are instructed to touch your dressing or replace the dressing, always wash your hands first. Use soap and water on all skin surfaces of hands and wrists for 15 seconds or more. Rinse and dry your hands.
  • Continue to keep any other open wounds or cuts clean, dry, and covered with a Band-Aid® or dressing.

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