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How to Care For a Surgical Incision

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Updated April 11, 2014

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Inspecting Your Surgical Incision
You should plan to inspect your incision daily until it closes completely and your surgeon indicates that you have finished healing from your surgery.

How To Inspect Your Incision:

When you finish with your shower, take the time to pat your incision dry or allow it to air dry. Some redness along the incision line is normal and should diminish as the incision heals. Increasing redness, especially if the incision feels warm, can indicate the beginnings of an infection.

Drainage from the wound may also indicate an infection. In the first few days after surgery there may be a very small amount of clear fluid that leaks from the incision, but bloody, green/yellow, chunky, thick or white pus or drainage usually indicates infection and should be reported to your surgeon.

A healthy incision will be well-approximated, meaning that the edges meet neatly and closely. Gaps in your incision should be reported to your surgeon.

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