How we look after your wounds

When you've had an operation where the doctors have had to make a cut into your skin, you may have a wound, which is called a surgical wound.

There are lots of different types of surgical wound, but they all need looking after so that they heal properly.

The doctors and nurses who care for you after your operation will make sure your wound has a sterile dressing on it, to protect it and stop any germs getting into it, and that it is kept dry.

It usually takes a day or two for the skin edges to join up again.

Before you go home, the doctors and nurses will give you advice on how to look after your wound yourself. If you don't think you'll remember everything they tell you, get your mum or dad, or other grown-up, to write down what you have to do.

The nurses may give you a leaflet with advice on how to look after the wound.

If you've had stitches, they are usually the dissolvable type, which means you won't need to have them taken out. But clips, staples and some kinds of stitches have to be removed by a doctor or nurse. That means you'll be given an appointment to go back to hospital, or to your doctor's surgery, to have them taken out.

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