Frequently Asked Questions
ASCs are typically able to provide a great alternative and comparable quality to the full “hospital experience” while coming in at a lower cost to the patient. Surgical centers often focus on specific types of surgeries and are able to provide the immediate support and care that promote a full recovery.
The number one responsibility that every patient faces upon returning home following their surgery is helping out the recovery process. This may look different depending on the type of surgery performed, but oftentimes, the responsibilities will include getting rest, limiting physical activity and exercise per doctor’s recommendations, changing bandages as needed and keeping the surgical site clean.
An oft-overlooked responsibility for the patient is keeping their followup appointments. While doctors and physician assistants are typically responsible for setting these follow up appointments, the responsibility falls squarely on the patient to make sure they keep that appointment.
There are a number of things you can do in order to give yourself the best possible chance at a successful recovery– chief among them being rest, proper hygiene, closely following your doctor’s instructions, and making sure you have the proper medical supplies to aid in your recovery. We have written a more in-depth article here that highlights 5 ways to keep yourself on the path to recovery.
There are a number of things you can do at home to prevent infections of your surgical site while recovering at home. Properly washing your hands and limiting touching of the surgical site are two of the most important things within your control that you can do to prevent infection.
In addition, keeping an eye on the site is important for being proactive and catching any signs that the site may be infected. Redness, pus, increasing pain, foul odor, and fever can all be signs that your surgical site is infected. Contact your doctor’s office immediately if you begin to exhibit any of these symptoms, time is of the essence when working to prevent surgical site infections.
While many small scrapes or cuts will heal perfectly fine if left exposed to air, serious or surgical wounds heal more efficiently when covered by an appropriate bandage or dressing. The benefits of covering a wound are two-fold:
- Moisture is essential to promoting the healing process. A bandage or dressing allows the wound to maintain the necessary level of moisture to keep skin cells alive. Leaving the wound exposed may cause the skin cells to dry out, causing irritation and pain.
- Using a bandage or dressing increases your chances of keeping dirt and foreign substances away from your wound, further promoting healing and cutting down on your chances of infection.
Change your bandage when it becomes wet or dirty. Keeping a wet or dirty bandage covering your wound can prolong the healing process and put you at a higher risk for infection. Make sure to plan ahead– always have appropriate bandages on hand.
Sight and touch are your best friends when checking to see if your bandage has been compromised. Visual inspection of the bandage is often enough to signal that it may be time to replace. Visible dirt, grime, or discoloration of the bandage are all indicators that it’s time for a new one. DrySee’s built-in liquid intrusion alert quickly notifies you if your bandage has become wet– if the indicators turn blue, it’s time to change the bandage.
Touching the bandage can also let you know if it has become saturated. While infection is the number one reason to make sure that you have a clean bandage or dressing, another important reason is to avoid maceration. Maceration is the softening or breaking down of skin due to prolonged exposure to moisture. Prolonged maceration can result in fungal or bacterial infections.
The best guideline to follow for personal hygiene care is to closely follow the instructions of your doctor following surgery. Easing into the proper personal hygiene routine can take some work. Sponges and spot cleaning can help keep disturbance of the wound to a minimum.
Depending on the type of surgery, your doctor may recommend waiting to bath anywhere from 48 hours to a few weeks. Ultimately, your doctor will know what’s best for you, it’s important to never gloss over these instructions as there can be consequences for ignoring them.
It’s important to be on the lookout for signs of infection in your wound. While minor infections will certainly delay your body’s ability to heal, left unchecked, they can quickly become severe which may require a hospital stay. Here are signs of infection we encourage you to be vigilant for:
- Redness around the wound
- Pus or colorful discharge (yellow or green) coming from the wound
- Foul odor emanating from the wound
- Increasing pain in the area surrounding the wound
- Fever and/or chills
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, we strongly encourage you to get in touch with your doctor or their support staff as soon as possible. Our bodies typically do a great job at fighting off minor infections but following surgery, don’t leave this process up to chance.
There is an increasingly wide range of products to consider and choose from when selecting the bandage that’s best for your wound following surgery.
When in doubt, consult your doctor about what type of bandage they recommend to cover your wound while it heals. Oftentimes, they will have a number of products they will recommend based on their past experiences and success rates.