Forty-eight hours after surgery, wounds that are clean and clean-contaminated can be safely showered, according to the results of a study just published in the Annals of Surgery.
Such postoperative showering doesn’t increase the risk of surgical site infections, according to the research. It might increase patient satisfaction and lower the cost of wound care, the authors say.
Jin-Shing Chen, MD, PhD, at-tending physician at National Taiwan University Hospital in Taipei City and associate professor at National Taiwan University in Taipei, and his colleagues focused on patients with clean or contaminated wounds who had one of the following surgeries: thyroid, lung, inguinal hernia, and face and extremity. The 444 patients were randomized to allow showering or to keep the wound dry starting 48 hours after the surgery. The study looked at the rate of surgical wound infection, wound pain score, satisfaction with wound care, and the cost of wound care.
The researchers reported four superficial site infections in the group that showered and six in the group that didn’t shower (4/220, 1.8% vs 6/220, 2.7%, p = 0.751). The pain scores were comparable between the groups. Patients who showered were more satisfied with their method of wound care, and their wound care costs were lower compared to the nonshowering group, the researchers reported.
To access the study results, go to bit.ly/1NXvvRH.