Healing depends on your general health and the type of surgery you had. Large or deep surgery incisions can take 6 to 8 weeks to heal. People with medical problems or prescribed certain medications may take longer.
How can I help healing?
Follow a healthy diet: You can help healing by eating healthy. Follow a diet high in vitamin C, protein and zinc. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits. Vitamin C is also in vegetables such as broccoli and brussel sprouts. Meat, fish and milk products are high in protein and zinc. Choose low fat protein. Your health care provider may want you to take multivitamins or nutritional supplements as well.
Follow your activity guidelines: After some types of surgery you will be advised to avoid heavy lifting. This means you cannot lift anything over 10 pounds or 4 ½ kilograms Heavy lifting can cause problems with healing. Follow the instructions you were given in the hospital.
Exercise and Activity: Exercise and activity helps healing by improving blood flow. Blood brings oxygen and healthy nutrients to the cells in your body to help them heal. Follow the instructions you have been given about the amount and type of exercise to do. You may need to avoid straining and heavy lifting so your wound can heal.
How do I care for my wound? Follow the directions you were given in the hospital. Keep the wound clean and dry for the first 72 hours. Your health care provider will tell you when you can shower. When having a shower, do not let the spray go directly onto any incision until it is well healed. Avoid baths, swimming pools and hot tubs until your incision is well healed. Your incision may also be covered with a dressing made of gauze pads. In the hospital, your health care provider may look at your incision and change the dressing. You will learn what to look for and how to do it if you are going home with a dressing. When you go home with a dressing: Change the dressing as you were advised in the hospital. Wash your hands well with soap and warm water before and after touching the dressing. Then clean and apply the dressing as you were taught in the hospital.