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Step-by-Step Surgical Bandage Change Instructions

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Updated April 09, 2014

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Put on a New Bandage

You can now place your clean bandage on your incision. If your surgeon has prescribed any special ointments or treatments, this is the time to apply them. Do not use any lotions, powders or cleansers that have not been approved by your surgeon.

If possible, take the bandages out of the package as needed and place them directly on the incision. Avoid placing the bandages on the sink or the back of the toilet or on a table. This will help prevent contaminating the dressings that touch your incision. If you must set the bandage aside, try to use the clean inside of the paper wrapper to keep the bandage off of contaminated surfaces.

If your incision has drainage, you may need to place several layers of bandages. If there is a great deal of drainage, you may need to both reinforce the dressing with extra layer and plan on changing the dressing more frequently.

Once the bandage is covering the incision with at least half an inch extra bandage on each side, you can tape it into place. Tape all four sides into place, until the bandage is sealed. You may need to use a few extra pieces of tape if the bandage is thick.

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