Instructions for safe incision care at home

Take care of the incision, remove and change the dressing daily

Most postoperative wounds will usually be covered with a bandage to help protect the wound from impact and external damage. Changing the dressing daily is a way to prevent new tissue from growing deep into the old dressing as well as ensure the hygiene of the incision. When changing the wound dressing after surgery, there are a few things to keep in mind:

– Remove the bandage properly: when removing the bandage, pay attention to only touching the clean bandages, if the bandage is dirty, you can use forceps to remove the bandage to avoid secondary infection to the wound. The movement when removing the bandage should be done gently.

– Change the dressing during the day at least once or twice a day (according to the doctor’s instructions).

– Operators need to wash their hands with soap/sanitizer before opening and changing bandages.

– Do not wet/stain the tape.

If the postoperative wound has been bandaged by the doctor with an adhesive bandage, the family member/caregiver must not peel it off, let the tape peel off naturally.

Wound care, wound cleaning 

Cleaning the wound after surgery should be done in a straight line, starting from the top of the wound to the bottom, going from the inside to the outside, going from the clean area to the less clean area, along with that, use a cotton swab / gauze in the direction down. It is necessary to choose a type of gauze that is soft enough to limit further damage to the wound.

Use of additional washing solutions that are not harmful to body tissues and do not further interfere with the healing process.

When you see a bleeding wound seeping into the dressing, the immediate thing to do is to remove the old bandage and proceed with a new dressing. At the same time, you can put pressure on the bandage with your hand for a few minutes to help stop bleeding in the most simple and effective way.

 Apply medicine and bandage the wound

After the wound has been cleaned, more medicine should be applied to the wound (according to the doctor’s prescription). Gauze can be used to cover the wound and cover/fix with medical tape.

Keep the wound clean, certain moisture

– The first three days after surgery, the patient needs to keep the wound clean and avoid washing water directly on the incision.

– When bathing, do not put the shower directly into the incision.

– Do not rub too hard on the incision.

– Do not soak in hot tubs or swim.

Exercise after surgery

After surgery, it is often recommended that patients be mobilized as soon as possible. However, when exercising, it is necessary to pay attention to exercise gently, avoiding excessive exercise that affects the healing process.

Proper rest and adequate sleep will help the patient recover faster.


A complete, scientific diet will have a great impact on the wound recovery process after surgery.

Therefore, patients should choose fresh, clean foods rich in protein, vitmain, fiber such as lean pork, red meat, tofu, supplement with lots of green vegetables, fresh fruits ….

During the healing process, you should not use alcohol, hot spicy foods or stimulants.

Some foods that the patient should avoid during this time, such as seafood, chicken (causes pain), glutinous food (fuss), dog meat, water spinach (causes scarring)… to promote facilitate the healing process.

Post-operative wound removal

If the wound has been sutured with self-dissolving sutures, the sutures will dissolve in about 7-10 days.

For other types of surgical sutures (normal thread), the patient needs to go to medical facilities for doctors to cut the sutures. Patients should not arbitrarily do it at home because it is not safe and especially you do not have enough expertise, skills or experience to handle. Non-absorbable suture removal can be performed in about 5 to 21 days depending on the surgical site and the type of incision.

When should you call a doctor?

In the process of taking care of the incision, regularly monitor and check. If you see the patient and the incision appear any of the following abnormal symptoms, it is necessary to take the patient to the nearest medical facility, promptly handle it to avoid signs of more serious changes that directly affect health. .

– The incision is bleeding or has a hematoma.

– The incision is painful, has signs of swelling, heat, pus/redness.

– The incision is open

– The patient has chills or a high fever > 38 degrees Celsius or has a fever for 4 hours that cannot be lowered.

The patient has a feeling of tightness, or tightness where the incision, sutures or pins on the skin are cut / torn.

– After surgery, there are keloid scars, shrinking or excessive hypertrophy, you should also consult a doctor to have timely intervention plans, to avoid affecting the aesthetics, making the patient self-conscious. .

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