Personal Care

After your surgery, it’s especially important pay close attention to your personal care and hygiene.

Follow these tips for personal care once you have returned home:


  • Wash your hands before and after you touch your incision.
  • Take your bath or shower only when someone is at home with you in case you feel weak and need help.
  • We recommend you take a shower or a shallow tub bath. This means the water level should be below your incision. Ask your physician when it is OK for the incision to get wet. You should not soak it. You may wash your hair as desired.
  • If you had breast surgery, you may shower with your back to the shower stream. Until your drains are removed, it may be helpful to pin a cloth belt or sash that can be tied around your waist. This will provide support for the drain and prevent a pulling sensation.
  • Pat your incision dry and keep it free of creams, powders and ointments.

In the bathroom

  • Clean your genital area after you go to the bathroom by wiping from front to back.
  • Wash your hands after you use the bathroom.

In general

  • Wear loose-fitting clothing and cotton underpants.
  • If you have had a hysterectomy, do not douche, have intercourse or use tampons until your doctor says it is all right to do so.
  • If you have had a hysterectomy, you will no longer have a menstrual period. However, some spotting for two to three weeks after surgery is normal.

Prevention of blood clots after you go home

  • Do not sit or lie in bed for long periods of time during the day.
  • Continue walking around your home and changing positions frequently.
  • If you are on bed rest, exercise your legs every hour and change positions at least every 2 hours.
  • Stretch your legs with “heel to toe” movements and move feet in circles.