Department of Cardiovascular Sciences

After surgery

What happens to my wound after surgery

After surgery, your wound is cleaned and covered with a protective dressing. This dressing should not be removed until a few days after surgery when your skin has healed over. The dressing may need to be changed if it becomes wet or visibly soiled. When in hospital, avoid touching your wound or any drains (tubes) next to your wound. If you are caring for your wound at home, clean your hands well before touching your wound or dressing. Drains will be removed before you go home.

Some patients may go home with a special type of wound dressing called a ‘negative pressure’ dressing. A negative pressure dressing is a dressing which is attached to a small battery powered suction device which gently sucks air and excess fluid out of the wound area and helps the wound to heal more quickly. You may have to wear a negative pressure dressing for a few weeks after surgery. The suction device is around the size of a slim apple, so you should be able to move around freely. 

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