Wound Care After Bariatric Surgery
Wound care is critically important in reducing the chance for infection after a surgical procedure. In fact, improper wound care is one of the leading causes of infection after any surgery, yet it is one of the easiest complications to avoid. Some of the most important wound care considerations include:
- Always wash your hands thoroughly before touching the wound or anything around it. If anybody is helping you with your wounds or dressings, they should wash their hands as well. The rule of thumb is to wash with warm to hot water and preferably antibacterial soap for 20 seconds. This helps ensure that any germs you may have picked up are eliminated.
- Whenever you remove a gauze pad or wound covering of any kind, it should be replaced with a fresh one. Even though you may only lift the covering for a second, it can still become contaminated.
- Do not use any creams or ointments – even antibacterial – to help the process along. You will have some redness and swelling – that is perfectly normal. You may even see some clear discharge. This does not need to be treated. However, if you see the wound swelling significantly, getting redder or if you smell foul discharge or see red streaks coming from the wound, this is an emergency that requires a call to our office and will not be resolved with home care.
Luckily, the laparoscopic, or minimally invasive, approach to abdominal surgery has reduce the incidence of infection by decreasing the size of abdominal incisions significantly. Modern technology, including robotic technology, has truly revolutionized the size of the incisions needed for successful bariatric surgery, hernia surgery and GERD surgery without compromising the surgeon’s dexterity.
Follow the proper wound care protocols in your post-op packet and you will significantly reduce the risk of infection while shortening your recovery time. If you have any questions, you can always call us for more information.