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Preparing your skin for surgery

Preparing your skin for surgery is extremely important, to do this, it’s recommended that you wash or shower with a Chlorhexidine (CHG) body wash before surgery.  Breast Care Nurses will provide you with the (CHG) body wash for free. 

Shower the night before surgery and the morning of the surgery for the best results. If you’re allergic to CHG, the breast care nurse will provide Triclosan pre-op wash instead. If an allergic skin reaction occurs stop using the product and contact your breast care nurse for further instructions and/or your local doctor.

  1. Wash and rinse your hair, face and body using your normal shampoo and soap or body wash.
  2. Make sure you completely rinse thoroughly.
  3. Pour ½ CHG body wash liquid in your hand and apply to your entire body from NECK DOWN and rub for three minutes NB: DON’T use this product on your face, hair or genital areas.
  4. Pay particular attention to skin folds under the breast and the armpit area and avoid scrubbing your skin too hard.
  5. Turn on the shower and rinse the soap off your body completely with warm water.
  6. Do not use regular soap after washing with the CHG body wash.
  7. Pat your skin dry with a freshly-laundered, clean towel after each shower.
  8. Dress with freshly-laundered clothes after each shower.
  9. It’s important the night before surgery to sleep with clean bed linen to keep your skin clean.
  10. Do not apply any lotions, deodorants, powders or perfumes to your body.
  11. Do not shave body hair with razors the night before or the day of the surgery.
  12. Make sure you keep your hands clean.

Thank you for taking care of your pre-operative preparation at home to prevent surgical site infections post-surgery.

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