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Showering after surg / Incision Care

MeeshaMMeesha Posts: 55
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:44 AM in Recovering from Surgery
How do you wash your hair without getting the incision wet? I use wet wipes for bathing, but I have to wash my hair, and my dr. said not to get soap in the incision.
The nurse at the hospital gave me wrong instructions - she said to take off the bandage 3 days after and let it air dry. Well it's 4 days after, and I finally got to talk to my surgeon, and he said I should still have the bandage on, and just change it. It's already scabbing over, but at least there doesn't seem to be leakage. I'm glad I bought some dressings, but I need tape. In the mean time, I have to figure out this shower dilemma. What do you do?
discectomy in June 2010 - success! No sciatic pain, just some remaining numbness in foot. And I get charlie horses a lot.


  • Hi Meesha it's great to hear you are feeling well enough to want to wash your hair. Taking a shower was my favorite thing after surgery.

    I found large waterproof bandages in CVS. I think the brand is 3m or Nexcare. Most stores will carry something like this. Or a surgical supply store will have them. You might need more than one depending on the size of your incision. These really were waterproof.

    What I did was keep on the old bandage while showering. Then when I was dry I would change the bandage to a new one.

    I'm a fan of letting the incision get air. At least for a little while. But for the lower back you need to consider what might get into the area that might cntaminate it. So follow your doctors orders for keeping it covered.

    Good Luck
  • I was given some waterproof bandages to go on top. Not that waterproof, mind, had to change after each shower. I was also careful not to stand with my back to the shower, bent my head over as much as I could and so on.
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  • Hi Meesha.

    Another possible solution is to hold a waterproof bandage on your incision and have your husband was your hair for you. You could stand, like nel said, with your front to the shower, bend your neck as much as you can and have hubby do the work while you mind the incision and bandage area.

    Just a thought. (I had to do this after my ACDF. I sat on the shower stool and since I couldn't bend my head, I covered my face with a washcloth and hubby did all the hair washing. I could get my incision wet after that surgery - they put on a waterproof bandange with a bandage over that that I removed when showering.)

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