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Showering and Plastic Surgery

By David Passaretti, MD on May 24, 2018


If you decide to undergo plastic surgery, you will receive a number of instructions to follow before and after plastic surgery. Among these instructions are tips about showering the night before and in the days after surgery.

At the practice of Dr. David Passaretti, we perform a range of facial plastic and body contouring procedures to improve your appearance and self-confidence. Here, we go over the general showering instructions that we provide to patients at our Darien, CT practice. Keep in mind that your specific instructions will depend on the procedure and technique that you undergo.

Showering the Night before Your Procedure

The night before your procedure, use antibacterial soap to thoroughly clean your body and the surgical area. You should also wash your hair, as it may be a few days before you can wash it again.

The Day of Your Procedure

Since you showered the night before your procedure, you do not need to bathe again in the morning. In fact, we recommend that you don’t shower at all on the day of your surgery.

When you get home from surgery, you will probably feel groggy and fatigued so showering in this state is not a good idea. Instead, you should lie down and rest for the remainder of the day.

The Day after Your Procedure

Some patients may be allowed to take a quick body shower the day after surgery. If you shower at this time, avoid having to lift your arms and wash your hair; this can strain your stitches or cause discomfort. Instead, just wash your body, being sure to gently clean around the medical dressing and avoid getting the incision area in the direct line of the shower spray.

Do not take a bath for at least a couple of weeks after surgery. A bath can increase your risk for instructions.

Two Days after Your Procedure

A couple of days after surgery, you should feel good enough to take a full shower. Again, gently clean around the incision area and keep the surgical site away from the direct stream of water.

When You Should Wait to Take a Shower

If you have had surgical drains placed, you may have to avoid showering until the drains are removed.

We try to avoid the use of drains whenever possible. However, if you undergo certain procedures seeking more dramatic results, a drain may need to be placed to draw fluid away from the healing incision. If you undergo tummy tuck, breast reduction, or a body lift, we may place a drain after surgery.

If you have a drain, it is best to take sponge baths while you heal. Fill a clean basin with warm water and soap, and use a soft sponge or washcloth to clean the body, being sure to gently clean around the treatment site. If you want your hair washed in the sink or basin, have a family member or friend help so you do not lift your arms above your head.

To schedule your plastic surgery appointment with Dr. Passaretti, contact our practice today.

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