Proper wound care after gastric band surgery is important in order to reduce the chances of infection and other complications. Below is some information to help you keep the wound clean and monitor its healing.
About Surgical Wound Care
The skin around the incision may be red or bruised, which is normal and will fade in time. The wound may also leak a small amount of fluid. Surgical wounds should be kept clean, dressed and dry at all times until they have healed. Avoid wearing tight clothing while the wound heals, and don’t soak the wound in a hot tub or bathtub unless your doctor has cleared you to do so.
Cleaning the Wound
The wound dressing should be changed any time it gets dirty or wet. Many doctors will also recommend changing the bandage at least once each day, even if it is still clean and dry.
To change the bandage, you must first remove the old dressing. While wearing a clean medical glove, gently loosen the tape and pull the dressing away from the wound. If the dressing is stuck to the wound, don’t tug on it. Instead, wet the dressing and try to remove it again. Discard the old dressing, and wash your hands thoroughly.
Check for Signs of Infection
After you have removed the old dressing, check the wound for signs of infection. Signs of infection may include foul-smelling drainage, increased redness and swelling. If you see any of these signs, consult your physician. You should also report any openings in the wound to your doctor.
To clean the lap band surgical wound, begin by soaking Q-tips or gauze with soapy water, peroxide or saline solution, as directed by your physician. Wipe the wound from one end to the other, or gently dab it. If you are using soapy water, make sure that the soap you choose is not antibacterial, as this may damage the wound.
Dressing the Wound
Once the wound is clean, dress it as your physician has instructed. For example, you may have been told to place a new dressing across the wound and secure it with a special type of surgical tape. Some physicians may also instruct you to apply an antibiotic ointment to the wound before covering it again. After you have finished this part of the process, wash your hands for hygienic purposes.