Surgical Wounds FAQs

With proper care, most surgical incisions heal without a problem. However, if your wound doesn’t begin to heal, or if it takes longer than expected to heal, it could mean you’ve developed an infection or underlying medical condition. 

How long should you keep a surgical wound covered?

You should keep the bandages on your surgical wound for a few days following your procedure. Bandages help keep the affected area free of infection during the healing process. Your Mercy doctor will give you more detailed instructions about proper bandage care. 

How do you clean a surgical wound?

To clean the area around your surgical wound, use cloth or gauze soaked in soapy water. Carefully clean the area by dabbing around your wound with your cloth or gauze. Your Mercy doctor will have more exact directions on how to properly care for your surgical wound following your procedure. 

What are the signs & symptoms of a surgical wound infection?

Typical signs and symptoms of a surgical wound infection include: 

  • Redness
  • Slow healing
  • Accompanying fever
  • Persistent pain
  • Swelling
  • Pus or discharge coming from the surgical site

How long should a surgical wound drain?

Wound drainage is a natural part of any healing process following your surgery. Most fluid drainage should lessen over the course of several days. There are a few different kinds of drainage that can occur, so you should talk with your Mercy doctor about what to expect after your surgery. 

Find a Wound Care Clinic

Mercy has wound care clinics across most of our communities. 

Find a wound care clinic near you.