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Showering Instructions after Plastic Surgery to Achieve Good Results

By Brian Kobienia, MD, FACS on July 18, 2018


Shower runningWhether you have undergone breast augmentation or body contouring surgery to improve your appearance, you have invested time and money in the process. So, it makes sense that you want to enjoy the best results possible.

While choosing an experienced, knowledgeable surgeon like Dr. Brian Kobienia in Edina, MN, is definitely a key factor in the outcome of your procedure, aftercare helps ensure patients are able to experience a truly transformed appearance. This is especially true when it comes to following showering instructions after plastic surgery.

Use Caution When Showering

Although taking a shower can be a great way to make sure your incision area stays clean after plastic surgery, patients should avoid bathing immediately after the procedure. An incision can take about 48 hours to close, so Dr. Kobienia suggests holding off at least this long before stepping into the shower.

Showering before the incision is closed can irritate the wound and hinder the healing process, resulting in an infection or negatively impacting the appearance of your surgical scars.

Instead of a full shower, patients should opt for a sponge bath for at least the first two days post-surgery. Using a wash cloth and some mild soap, carefully sponge yourself clean with tepid water.

Steer clear of the incision site and try not to wash your hair since the stretching involved puts you at risk for re-opening your wound. When you do want to wash your hair, ask someone to help you until the healing process is complete.

Tips for Shower Time

Showers should not stress you out while you are recovering from plastic surgery. Here are some suggestions for speeding up the healing process and keeping your recovery free of complications:

  • Avoid lingering: We know how tempting it can be to relax in the shower after a long day, but after surgery, it is possible to feel faint after standing for an extended time. To keep yourself safe, invest in a special stool so you can sit in the shower, or request help from a friend or family member.
  • Stay cool: While a hot shower sounds like the ideal way to relax, opt for lukewarm or cool water instead.
  • Waterproof the incision area: Make sure your wound stays dry, either by holding it away from the water or by using a waterproof covering or plastic bag. Ask Dr. Kobienia to make sure it is safe for you to totally remove your dressing or bandages for showers.
  • Wash with care: Abstain from vigorous scrubbing when cleaning the incision site. Instead, wash gently around the area with mild soap and a soft wash cloth, keeping soap out of the wound.
  • Dry delicately: Patients must avoid rubbing the incision area dry, as this could irritate and reopen the wound. Instead, gently pat the incision or let it air dry.

Banish Bubble Baths (at Least for a Little While)

While showering is approved 48 hours after the procedure when the incision is closed, patients must not soak in the bath, swimming pool, or hot tub for at least two weeks. Doing so would increase the likelihood of exposing the incision site to bacteria, causing infection. If you notice sensitivity, swelling, discharge, or redness in the incision area, it is important to contact our office immediately.

Questions or Concerns about the Recovery Process?

If you think your incision area might be infected or have other questions about the plastic surgery recovery process, our team is ready to help you with compassionate advice and excellent service. Call us today at 952-925-1111 or contact us online anytime.

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