As you recover from surgery, it is important to take care of your incision to minimize the risks of infection or excessive scarring, the American Academy of Family Physicians says.
The academy urges you to call your doctor if your wound opens up, turns red or bleeds excessively.
Your doctor should provide specific post-surgery instructions, such as:
- When to remove the bandage. Depending on the surgery’s location and complexity, the doctor typically will advise removing the bandage within the first week of surgery.
- Keep the incision dry, particularly for the first 24 hours.
- Removing the stitches. The doctor will remove them if they are not dissolvable, typically within three weeks of surgery. The doctor may apply tape to the area where the stitches were removed.
- Limit movement near the stitches to improve healing. Also refrain from activities that could pull part the incision.
- Always wash your handsbefore caring for the incision.