Showering Instructions before and after Plastic Surgery

June 29, 2018 — by Stephen Hardy M.D.
Tags: Plastic Surgery

Middle-aged man looking at his reflection in the mirrorIndividuals who want to enhance their aesthetics can benefit from a number of treatments at our Missoula, MT practice, including body contouring and facial plastic surgery. Like any surgical procedure, it is important to familiarize yourself with pre-op and post-operative instructions.

One of the most common questions we hear regarding treatment is how and when patients can shower. Today, our team at Northwest Plastic Surgery Associates offers showering instructions before and after plastic surgery. Following these guidelines closely will help you enjoy a swift and comfortable recovery.

Showering before Your Plastic Surgery

When undergoing any type of surgical procedure, it is important to cleanse the skin as effectively as possible. To do this, we recommend taking a shower the night before and the morning of your procedure. Wash your body thoroughly using an unscented antibacterial soap, such as Dial®. Any additives, such as oils or fragrances in the soap could potentially leave a film on the skin. If this happens, the monitors used during the procedure will not stick as they should.

In addition, be sure to wash your hair as well. Typically, it will be a few days before you can shower again, as your incisions will need time to seal. After your surgery is over, your doctor will tell you when you will be able to take a full shower again.

Showering after Your Plastic Surgery

It takes approximately 48 hours for surgical wounds to close completely. Therefore, you may not be able to shower during the first two days. Showering too soon can cause the incisions to reopen and lead to other post-operative complications, such as infection. In the sections below, we will offer a few tips and tricks to help you shower successfully after plastic surgery.

Stay Out of the Bathtub

Submerging your incisions should be avoided following your plastic surgery procedure. Therefore, you should not soak in a bathtub, pool, hot tub, or any other body of water. This can expose your wounds to infection-causing bacteria. To avoid this complication, do not take baths for at least two weeks after your procedure.

Take a Sponge Bath

It can be challenging to go without a bath or shower in the days following your procedure. To keep your body clean, you can take a sponge bath.

To do so, fill a basin or sink with lukewarm water and gently wash yourself with mild soap applied to a soft sponge or washcloth. Avoid rubbing directly on the surgical site.

You should avoid lifting your arms over your head for the first few days. Therefore, you should not try to wash your own hair. Instead, have a friend or family member help you.

Showering Tips and Tricks

Following your plastic surgery, you will be given a detailed list of instructions. In addition, your surgeon will tell you exactly how long you will need to wait before showering. However, these general guidelines will help you prepare:

  • Do not use hot water. Keep it lukewarm.
  • Take quick showers to avoid healing complications.
  • Keep bandages and dressings dry.
  • Clean around the incisions gently.
  • Pat or air dry when finished.

Contact Us to Learn More

Knowing what to expect before and after your procedure can help you enjoy a successful and comfortable recovery. If you are about to undergo plastic surgery, contact our office online for more information. You can also call us at (406) 728-3811.

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