When you have a limb amputated, a new life awaits you. The adjustment period can be quite challenging to get through. With proper self-care and plenty of support from family and friends, however, you can certainly rise above the predicament.
Following your operation, your recovery should not be too much of a struggle. In order to enjoy a smooth transition period until the time you start using your prosthetic, you need to be wary of your post-operative tasks as part of your new daily routine. This includes caring for your post-op wounds. Following the directions given by your medical or prosthetic professional is extremely important. This is to ensure successful definitive closure of your wounds as a way to full recovery.
That being said, here is what you need to know about taking care of your post-operative amputation wounds:
Taking Care of Amputation Wounds
Now that we’ve established the need to take care of your amputation wounds after the surgery, let’s get into the specifics. The following are the essential steps to caring for your amputation wounds:
- Changing your wound’s dressings should be done on the regular. Do this especially when the dressings become soiled, show leakage, begin to come undone, or get dislodged. Make sure that you wash your hands with soap or sanitize them before you come in contact with your wounds. With clean hands, you can go ahead and properly wrap your wound with soft compression dressings.
- Any pins or devices used to maintain bone alignment or fracture healing should be sterilized during the cleaning process. As you prepare for the closure of any residual wound and the introduction of prosthetics, you will need to change your wound-care routine slightly. Your gauze dressings will have to be changed no less than twice every day. The adhesive strips will eventually fall off naturally. Use compression dressings to aid the healing of the wound. These need to be reapplied throughout the day to maintain compression.
- Finally, prepare the area of prosthetics. When doing so, caring for your skin is crucial. Wash it daily with soap and water. Dry it completely before applying bandages. Make sure it doesn’t become sweaty as this might lead to a skin infection. Always examine your skin for possible redness, ulceration, tearing, or other signs. You want to avoid any potentially serious issues at all costs.
Tips for Wound Care
Taking care of your post-operative wounds is no easy task. However, if you have given it much thought and properly studied the protocols in doing so, it won’t be too much of a hassle. Eventually, it will become a routine that you can simply execute on a regular basis. That being said, here are some tips that might come in handy regarding wound care:
- Notify your doctor of any ingrown hairs as these may affect infect the area of a wound
- Avoid shaving near the wound.
- Refrain from using any lotions or creams on your wound, unless prescribed by your doctor.
- Use a prescription sunscreen when exposed to sunlight.
- Be careful with hot water, as your limb may be sensitive to changes in temperature.
- When traveling, pack plenty of extra bandages, clothing, and wipes.
- Don’t shy away from pain management – medications are prescribed for a reason. That being said, do not overuse them.
- Enhance the careful care of your wounds with a healthy diet, vitamins, and supplements to facilitate the healing process.
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