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Showering Instructions before and after Plastic Surgery

Vishnu Rumalla Jul 11, 2018

Young woman posing in sports bra and underwearPatients undergoing body contouring or facial plastic surgery to improve their appearance at our Fort Worth, TX practice should be well-informed of the pre-op and post-op instructions. Familiarizing yourself with these guidelines can help you have a speedy and successful recovery.

To minimize infection and complications from your procedure, our team will provide you with showering instructions before and after plastic surgery.

Showering before Plastic Surgery

The night before your procedure, you will take a shower with an antibacterial soap, such as Dial®. In some cases, your doctor may ask that you use chlorhexidine gluconate, an antiseptic soap. The goal of your pre-op shower is to remove as much bacteria from the skin as possible.

Be sure that you:

  • Wash your hair with your regular shampoo. We strongly recommend doing so, as you will not be able to shampoo your own hair for a couple of days after surgery.
  • Use a soft, clean washcloth to clean your skin from head to toe.
  • Dry yourself off with a clean towel when your shower is complete.
  • Do not apply any powders, lotions, creams, perfumes, etc.
  • Wear clean, loose, comfortable clothing and put clean linens on your bed the night before surgery.

Showering after Plastic Surgery

You should not shower for the first 48 hours after your procedure, as it takes approximately two days for the incision sites to close.

In the meantime, if you need to clean yourself, we recommend taking a sponge bath. Fill a container with lukewarm water and gently clean your skin using a soft sponge or washcloth and a mild antibacterial soap. Remember to avoid shampooing your hair until the third day.

Patients should also steer clear of jacuzzies, hot tubs, pools, or natural bodies of water for at least two weeks after surgery. Soaking your incisions can cause an infection and lead to complications with healing.

Tips and Tricks for Showering Effectively

After the first 48 hours, you can take your first shower. Here are some general guidelines to help you shower efficiently and effectively:

  • Keep it quick. Taking long showers can lead to overheating which can exacerbate inflammation. In addition, some patients may feel faint if the water is too hot.
  • Consider purchasing a shower stool. It is common for patients to feel a bit weak during the first few days after surgery. A shower stool can keep you from needing to stand for prolonged periods of time.
  • Use lukewarm water. Hot water can lead to more inflammation. It can also cause your incisions to itch. It is best to shower in cool or lukewarm water to avoid these complications.
  • Keep bandages and dressings out of the water spray. If necessary, cover your incisions with plastic wrap to avoid getting them wet. It is also a good idea to keep the shower head on the gentlest spray setting.
  • Be gentle and use caution. When your doctor gives you the go-ahead for removing your bandages when you shower, it is important to clean the incisions gently. Avoid scrubbing directly on the incision. Rather, clean around it carefully with a soft washcloth and antibacterial soap.
  • Pat or air dry. When your shower is over, dry off by gently patting yourself down with a clean towel, or simply air dry.

Contact Us for More Information

Want to know more about showering instructions before and after plastic surgery? Contact our practice online or give us a call.

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