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The most important principles of postsurgical wound healing

The daily care for the postsurgical wound and the changing of dressings are important elements of the recovery process. Even though these activities are not complicated and can easily be conducted by patients themselves, they cause many concerns regarding their proper performance.

Several principles should be adhered to while caring for the wound:
1. Change the dressing and disinfect the wound every day.
2. Wash and disinfect your hands before you change the dressing. You don’t need to put on disposable gloves.
3. Remove the drain when the volume of the fluid falls below 20 mL/day.
4. Do not remove Steri-Strips unless they become loose or soiled, e.g. with feces.
5. While changing the dressing, place a folded gauze inside the intergluteal cleft. This will ensure air circulation and prevent the rubbing of the wound against the opposite buttock.
6. Don’t take a shower without the dressing until 24 hours after the procedure.
7. For 6 weeks avoid soaking of the wound in water for a long time, e.g. during baths or in the swimming pool. After bowel movement, clean yourself with water or use wet tissues without alcohol.
8. Be gentle with the wound. Avoid situations in which you could hit the wound or fall on it. You can return to contact sports after 6 weeks.

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