How to Take Promote Surgical Wound Healing
- Limit stretching the areas around your wound. This will help prevent bleeding and swelling of the wound area. Try not to bump or hit your wound site on anything as this could open the wound up.
- Ask your caregiver how you should bathe or shower. You may need to cover your wound with a waterproof dressing. If you do not need to use a waterproof dressing, remove your bandage. Throw it away in the trash. Carefully wash your wound with soap and water. Pat the area dry with a clean towel. Ask your caregiver if you need to put medicine, such as an antibiotic (germ-killing) ointment, on your wound. Cover your wound with a clean, new bandage.
- Wear a binder. Conditions such as a long-term illness and weighing too much put you at a higher risk of your wound coming apart. Using steroid medicine can increase this risk. If you are at a high risk, you may need to use a binder over the area of your wound. A binder is a snug piece of clothing that you wear to help keep your wound from pulling apart.
- Manage your medical conditions. If you have certain diseases, such as diabetes (high blood sugar) or heart disease, it may take longer for your wounds to heal. Conditions where there is poor blood flow to your arms and legs can also slow healing. Take your medicines as ordered. If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar level in the right range. Ask caregivers for help managing other medical conditions.
- If your wound is on your arm or leg, raise the wound higher than the level of your heart. Doing this may help decrease pain and swelling. You can use pillows to elevate your arm or leg while you are sitting or lying down.
- Drink enough liquids. Men 19 years old and older should drink about 13 eight- ounce cups of liquid each day. Women 19 years old and older should drink about 9 eight-ounce cups of liquid each day. Follow your caregiver’s advice if you must change the amount of liquid you drink. For most people, good liquids to drink are water, juices and milk. Limit juices to avoid too much sugar calories intake.
- Tell caregivers about all of the medicines that you use. Using certain medicines, such as steroids, cancer medicines and blood thinners may delay wound healing.
- Eat foods that are high in protein. Taking vitamins and eating healthy foods that are high in protein may help your wound heal. Poultry, meat, and dairy products such as eggs and cheese, are high in protein. Ask your caregiver if you should use vitamins, and for more information about a high-protein diet.
- Do not smoke cigars, pipes or cigarettes. Smoking may cause blood vessels on your wound site to get smaller. When this happens, your wound will not have a good supply of blood. A good blood supply is needed to carry oxygen and nutrients to your wound so that it will heal.