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Information for Patients & Caregivers

Incision Care

• Keep the incision dry.
• Keep the incision covered with a light dry dressing until the staples are removed, usually 10-14 days.
• The patient should request showering/bathing instructions from surgeon.
• Notify the surgeon if there is increased drainage, redness, pain, odour, or heat around the incision.
• Take the patient's temperature if they feel warm or sick. Call the surgeon or their doctor if it exceeds 100.5ºF.

Changing the Dressing (ONLY IF DIRECTED BY SURGEON)

1. Wash hands.

2. Open all dressing change materials (ABD pads, 4x4 if needed, swab if indicated).

3. Remove stocking and old dressing.

4. Inspect incision for the following:
• increased redness 
• increase in clear drainage 
• yellow/green drainage
• odor
• surrounding skin is hot to touch 

5. Take one swab and paint the incision from top to bottom. Then turn the swab over and paint the incision from bottom to top. Use remaining swab to paint the drain site.

6. Pick up ABD pad by one corner and lay over incision. Be careful not to touch the inside of the dressing that will lie over the incision.

7. Place one ABD pad lengthwise and place the other ABD crosswise to form a "T" (to cover drain site).

8. Tape dressing in place.