What are the instructions for care of my surgical dressing and incisions?
We should have reviewed this preoperatively. You may also have received a handout describing appropriate wound care instructions upon discharge from the surgical facility or hospital.
Routinely for arthroscopic procedures, the dressing should remain dry and intact for 48 hours and then can be removed down to skin. If there are white strips going across your incision (ie. following ACL reconstruction surgery), please leave them in place. It is Ok to get the small puncture sites wet and then you can cover them with Bandaids. For any longer incisions (ie. following ACL reconstruction surgery), I would prefer that you keep them dry and also covered with Bandaids. If they get wet, don’t worry. Simply pat them dry or use a blow dryer to dry them and then cover them with Bandaids or gauze and tape.
Routinely for shoulder replacements, I have placed a water proof dressing over your incision. You my get this wet in a shower. After showering, simply dry the bandage with a towel.
If you have a splint or cast in place and I have asked that it not be removed, do not get this wet. If it gets wet, please call our office at 703-435-6604. It may need to be changed.
Routinely for all other non-arthroscopic procedures, please keep the incision(s) dry. If it gets wet, don’t worry. Simply pat them dry or use a blow dryer to dry them and then cover with Bandaids or gauze and tape.
Unless otherwise instructed, please do not put any ointments, lotions, creams or any other topical products on your incisions.
If I have provided you specific instructions that differ from those above, please follow the instructions previously provided.