Tips on how to change your post-operative dressing. Our orthopedic surgeon Dr. Chahal demonstrates the proper way to remove your dressing and replace with a new clean bandage.
One of the most common questions patients’ ask after surgery is how to manage their post-operative dressing. It becomes a source of anxiety for many patients and their caregivers as They worry due to the unfamiliarity of the process and my job here it to provide a few simple tips and tricks to make this easy and stress free.
Let’s use knee surgery as a common example. This gentleman in the video had knee arthroscopy 4 days ago.
With the help of an assistant who can hold the leg up, a pair of scissors is used to remove the tensor bandage. All gauze that is adjacent to the skin is removed as well. If steri-strips are visible on the incision they are left as is.
In this case, absorbable sutures were used.
All we do is clean the portal sites with alcohol swab and then begin to apply a new dressing.
My preference is to use one or two 4×4 pieces of gauze and another loosely applied tensor bandage.
Wrapping the tensor too tight can cause swelling in the lower leg and foot and unnecessary pain.
I would suggest applying a new dry dressing every one to two days.
Patients may also ask if they can get their incisions wet in the shower or bath. Every surgeon has their own protocol for this so please ask your surgeon’s office on when the incision can be cleaned in the shower. It is common however to avoid complete immersion of wounds in water (pool, lake, bath) for at least three weeks after surgery.
See that was very simple! Your dressing change will be straightforward and you are ready to begin physiotherapy. For more videos on post-op care please visit our website