Preventative Practices

  • Skin Checks. Before surgery, check your skin to make sure you are free from any skin infections and do not have any scrapes, scratches or reddened or inflamed areas that may indicate an infection.
  • Skin Preparation. If directed by your physician, wash your skin with a special soap called HIBICLENS the night before and the morning of surgery. You can get this from your surgeon’s office or your local drug store. Try to keep your body clean after starting to use HIBICLENS. Avoid any activity that may cause you to sweat or get dirty. St. John’s Hospital also has an infection control and prevention initiative called “Nose to Toes.” On the day of surgery you may be asked to swab your nose, use a mouthwash and/or clean your skin with wipes, depending on your type of procedure.
  • Tobacco Use. Being a smoker or tobacco user can impact your ability to fight off infections and can delay the healing process.
  • Blood Glucose Monitoring. If you are diabetic it is important to closely monitor your blood glucose readings and notify your physician immediately if your readings are abnormal. A high blood glucose level can result in a slow healing wound and increase the risk of a surgical site infection.
  • Nutrition. Eating a balanced diet and good hydration are important when preparing your body for surgery. A diet rich in protein and vegetables can help the healing process.
  • Hand Washing. Always WASH YOUR HANDS before and after caring for your surgical wound, and make sure all health care providers and family and friends do as well. (Don’t be afraid to ask.)
  • Notify your physician. Call your physician if you notice any redness or pain around the area where you had surgery, drainage of cloudy fluid from your surgical wound or a fever greater than 101.5 F.