If you wish to enhance, sculpt, or recontour certain areas of your body, you could benefit from plastic surgery at our Milwaukee, WI practice. At Lake Country Plastic and Hand Surgery, we believe that high-quality patient care begins with communication and education. Therefore, we strive to make sure our patients know what to expect before, during, and after their treatment.
Here, we explore the topic of showering after plastic surgery, discussing when patients can shower and how they should care for their incisions.
The First 48 Hours: Do Not Shower
During the first two days after your plastic surgery, do not shower at all. It takes approximately 48 hours for incisions to heal; showering during this time could potentially reopen the incisions and lead to complications, such as infection. In addition to causing post-operative issues, this could also worsen the appearance of your scars.
If you feel the need to bathe during the first two days, take a sponge bath. It is important to stay out of bathtubs, hot tubs, or any situation in which your incisions are immersed in water.
Rather, fill a clean basin or sink with lukewarm water and carefully sponge yourself down using a small amount of mild soap. At this point, you should still avoid the incision area.
You will also need to avoid shampooing your hair, as the motion of raising your hands above your head can place stress on your incision. Therefore, have a trusted friend or family member help you wash your hair until you are able.
How to Shower after Plastic Surgery
In most cases, patients can begin showering the third day after surgery. These guidelines can help you prepare for showering during your recovery:
- Be quick: Excessive and prolonged heat can cause more inflammation around the surgery site. Therefore, brief showers are best. In addition, some patients may feel faint after standing for long periods of time. In these cases, a shower stool may come in handy.
- Exercise caution around incisions: Although it is important to clean the incision sites, patients must exercise care and caution while doing so. Therefore, do not apply pressure or rub the area, and avoid getting soap in or around the incisions.
- Avoid hot water: As aforementioned, excessive heat can result in more swelling. In addition to this, however, it can cause the incisions to become itchy or uncomfortable.
- Use antibacterial soap: Whenever showering after plastic surgery, patients should use antibacterial soap to minimize the risk of infection.
- Avoid hard water pressure: The steady stream of hard water pressure can have a negative impact on incisions. Therefore, patients should either keep their incisions out of the water stream or adjust the pressure accordingly.
- Keep bandages out of water: If you still have surgical dressings or bandages on, it is important to keep them out of the water. In some cases, patients can cover these areas with plastic wrap to protect them. In other instances, you may be able to remove them before showering.
- Pat yourself dry: Once your shower is over, avoid rubbing the towel over your skin to dry off. This can reopen the incisions and lead to complications. Rather, pat yourself dry or allow your skin to air dry completely.
Contact Us to Learn More
If you have recently undergone plastic surgery, or if you are considering it, knowing what to expect after treatment can help you enjoy a successful and comfortable recovery. Call us at (262) 523-1200 or contact us online for more information.