Surgical wound care

General guidelines for surgical wound care

A surgical wound is created during a surgical operation. The wound is closed with sutures surgery
and is considered to be closed to the outside environment after 24-48 hours.

The patch on the wound must be changed if blood or wound fluid has seeped through the patch, or if the patch is dirty or wet, for example after washing.

Wound care and hygiene

Cleanliness is important in wound care. Always wash your hands before working on the wound, if possible use hand antiseptic.

  • The first wound care and wound dressing change is done in hospital the day after the operation.
  • At home, clean the wound by washing with running water or rinsing with a wound cleanser.
  • You can shower 24 hours after your operation. If you have Steri-Strip wound strips on your wound then
    with them. There is no need to remove or replace the Steri-strip strips in the shower.
  • Make the wound dressing wet and remove it before or in the shower.
  • After washing, dry the wound lightly by dabbing with a clean towel.
  • If it is not possible to wash the wound, rinse it with a wound cleanser to clean it.
    (preferably with a room-warm sterile 0.9% NaCl solution available from a pharmacy).
  • Place a new sterile wound dressing on the wound so that the adhesive part of the dressing sticks to the whole skin.
    Make sure that the (wound) dressing or wound pad is firmly on the wound. Wound we recommend
    bandage with patches for up to 3 days after surgery. The wound will be
    hermetically sealed, and the sutures hold the wound edge together until the final healing.
  • If necessary, change Steri-Strip wound dressings (wound dressings are recommended for plastic surgery patients
    use 2-4 weeks).
  • Avoid rubbing and bruising the wound.
  • Smoking slows down wound healing.
  • You can go to the sauna, bath and swimming in 2-3 weeks.
  • After the initial healing of the wound and the melting of the ulcer stones, a scar will form in the incision area.
    A silicone patch or silicone gel, available over the counter in pharmacies, can be used to soften the scar.
    The effect of silicone products is most pronounced after long-term use (4-6 months).
  • We recommend protecting the scar from UV radiation for 12 months to avoid under- or over-pigmentation of the scar

NB! It is not necessary to remove the wound stitches, as they are made with a self-tapping thread.

Signs of surgical site inflammation

Usually, the swelling and redness of the wound subsides by 3-4 days after surgery.
Be alert for possible wound infection and contact the Amsel Clinic immediately if the following symptoms occur

  • general weakness and feeling unwell;
  • fever ˃ 37,5C;
  • abundant ulceration;
  • sudden bleeding from a wound;
  • increased recovery time;
  • swollen, red and painful around the wound;
  • digestion of the wound.

Contact: Amsel Clinic

+372 51912119 (nurses’ post)

+372 53032440