While surgery might not be something patients look forward to, in many cases surgery will provide some kind of relief either from pain or disease. There are many different kinds of surgeries, from bariatric to gynecologic to thoracic, and each one comes with its own unique set of preparations. However, this guide offers some suggestions to help patients feel better faster no matter the surgery they have.
While patients look forward to that first deep clean after surgery, they need to follow their surgeon’s discharge instructions to ensure their wound doesn’t become infected or compromised.
When it comes to showering, “most of us [surgeons] say, generically, three days. Keep your wound clean and dry for three days,” Dr. Duany says. “We [also] now have waterproof dressings, which are usually the same color as the flesh.”
It isn’t just the wound itself that needs to be considered when it comes to post-surgical showering. “Once you are given that green light [to shower], you want to make sure to have someone there with you to help, especially getting in and out and maybe even more so for people stepping over a tub. That might not seem quite as hard as you think, but if you’re a little unsteady or have had surgery on a lower extremity or back, that can be difficult,” Jerke says.
An older adult who knows a surgery is coming may want to invest in having grab bars installed in the bathroom and purchase a non-slip bath mat from a discount medical shop to minimize the likelihood of a fall. A post-surgical patient is tired and sore anyway, so a fall in the shower will only make recovery more difficult (and could result in even more surgery). A handheld showerhead is also a good idea.
BY CARRIE VITTITOE