How Long Should You Keep a Surgical Wound Covered?

Surgical wounds are blueprints for your body to follow in its healing process. It reminds you that your body is going through a remodeling phase to bounce back even stronger. Proper healing requires multiple efforts, such as adherence to medication schedules, dressing changes, etc.

Request An Appointment

    How Long to Leave Dressing on Stitches?

    You should leave the original dressing for at least 48 hours. Change afterward if it turns wet due to the discharge of blood and other fluids. The main goal here is to keep the wound dry. So, avoid water and change if you notice any secretions. You can ask your healthcare provider for advice on the duration of coverage. Usually, 2 weeks is recommended for leaving the bulky dressing on.

    How Long Does It Take for a Surgical Incision to Heal?

    It takes about two weeks for a surgical incision to heal. However, every case is different. Your healthcare provider can monitor your healing process on every visit. It solely depends on your body’s natural healing capacity and how well you follow the aftercare guidelines.

    How do you properly change a wound’s dressing?

    You have to follow a set of steps to change the dressing on your surgical wound. This will help boost the healing process.

    1. Area Preparation
      Get rid of any jewelry items you are wearing in your hands, like a ring or bracelet. Clean the table with sanitizing wipes to keep your cleaning supplies on. If you have pets nearby, shift them to another area.
    2. Take off the Old Dressing
      Wash your hands with soap and water and gently remove the previous dressing. Dispose of it properly and sanitize your hand afterward.
    3. Sanitize and Rinse the Surgical Site
      Rinse your surgical wound with clean water and a mild soap. You can also clean it during the shower. Then, reapply your dressing after cleaning the wound as suggested by your doctor. Don’t forget to keenly examine your wound for any symptoms of infection, like redness, soreness, or discoloration, while you clean.
    4. Apply a New Dressing
      Smear a thin layer of a prescribed topical ointment on the surgical wound. Pick a clean gauze pad and press it against the incision. Stick all corners of this gauze pad to your skin. Wash your hands again after you’re done.

    Do Surgical Wounds Heal Faster When Covered?

    The majority of the incisions don’t need dressing after a few days. However, keeping the dressing on reduces the chance of bacteria and other environmental factors affecting the wound. If you decide to keep the bandage on, change it daily.

    Questions About How Long Should You Keep a Surgical Wound Covered? ?

    See What Our Patients Are Saying About Us

    I recently sustained a burn to my ankle in March which necessitated an Emergency Room visit. When the severity of the wound and the lengthy treatment needed was discussed, I was told of the new wound Center and soon met Dr. Gordon and Irina who immediately became my new best friends.

    Dr. Carl Mani

    First and foremost, Dr. Anthony Gordon and Irena Shteyn, RN, CWOCN saved my life.
    I had severe wounds in both lower legs due to a severe case of cellulitis. I was in acute pain and worried about my prognosis.

    Barbara Scrooc

    I had an accident that injured my leg and I didn’t see a doctor for over a week. I noticed that the wound was not healing so I went to the Emergency at Novato Community Hospital. They told me to see a wound specialist ASAP and they recommended Dr. Anthony Gordon at the Marin Advanced Wound Center.

    Myra Perea

    My father got treatment from Dr. Gordon for his burn wound. Dr. Gordon was very caring, attentive and spent generous amounts of time to give him very effective treatment.

    Sara Cox

    Bottom Line

    It is a myth to leave a surgical wound uncovered to heal in natural air. Keeping it covered protects it from various factors slowing the healing process. The precise answer to how long you should keep a surgical wound covered is five days for a start.

    Ensure to stay in touch with an experienced professional like Dr. Anthony K. Gordon at Marin Advanced Wound Center. Our board-certified radiologist holds 30 years of experience in the field. Call us at (415) 429-4225 to book an appointment.

    Skip to content