Post op wound care

Hello friends,

My recovery continues well, I've had fewer of those unusual feeling beats (PVCs?), my blood pressure is coming down (based on sensations, I'm travelling without a BP monitor), I feel it pacing less often (whether this is from the AV block getting back to my "normal" or simply being used to the sensation more). In short, while still very hyper aware of my body, I am recovering mentally and physically.

My biggest concern now is infection. All good so far, no raised temperature or unusual sensations from the wound. I have a waterproof dressing covering the wound and have been asked to keep this on for 7 days but not much info about wound care beyond this, I only have a follow up for 6 weeks after the procedure.

They did give me spare dressings to use if the one I have on comes off early.

Beyond common sense, general hygiene, keeping the wound area dry and clean etc, what can I do to avoid infection? Would it help to use the spare dressings for after the 7 days? Would it help to treat the area with alcohol or other disinfectant?


wound care

by new to pace.... - 2023-07-10 14:47:43

Do not worry about infection, just follow the instructions you were given.  do not put anything on the wound.  it should heal well on its own.   

new to pace                    


Common sense

by Penguin - 2023-07-10 15:23:40

What excellent news that your BP has normalised and your PVCs and AVB have reduced overnight. 

Re: Aftercare - You should have an appointment to attend either your GP or private clinic for a wound check. This is normally to remove any stitches - not sure how often glue is used in the UK?  I had a long single suture 'thing' that had to be pulled out gently after approx 10 days.  Ring your GP or private clinic if you have anything like this as it will need to be removed. If not presumably private healthcare uses something else.

If you have any concerns about infection this wound care appointment would be your best opportunity to raise them. The nurse will check that the wound is healing and advise you re: the waterproof dressing and whether or not you should continue to use one - (usually not if the wound has healed).

I've not seen any advice that includes alcohol or disinfectant personally and would avoid. The important thing is to keep the wound clean and dry - so by all means re-apply the spare waterproof dressings if the existing one loses it's stickiness after a few showers.  Pat the wound dry with something sterile (like medical grade gauze - usually supplied) and re-cover until a medical professional (nurse usually) tells you it's OK to take it off - normally when the wound has knitted together.

6 weeks will be the pacing check I expect. They look at the wound too. 





by docklock - 2023-07-10 15:32:10

I got my PM January this year. Doc took out a Implantable Loop Recorder and next to where it was put in PM.  Couple dissolvable stitchs and a lot of superglue.  
Had bandage on for one day and then took that off and showered.  Orders were it's OK to get area wet -- just don't let shower hit area directly.  
Pat area dry, don't rub. My orders were don't put anything on wound. 
Superglue came off in stages and layers and by the time I saw my Cardio guy about 10 days later, glue was pretty much gone.  
Very few people here have experienced infections, but follow orders.  
Different doctors-- different orders.  

All the really important stuff was done before the scalpel cut your skin

by crustyg - 2023-07-11 06:29:06

The time to worry about infection was *before* the scalpel cut your skin. After that, everything should have been, and remained sterile, so that the waterproof sterile dressing was applied on top of a sterile field.  Keep that dressing on for at least a week and longer until the skin wound has completely healed.

Experiences and opinions about suitable skin closure techniques vary a lot - I'm not a fan of steri-strips or similar, and a nice sub-cuticular running suture with fine prolene or even an absorbable material would always be my preference, but it takes more time and skill for the operator.  It also leaves the smallest scar (leaving aside infection, keloid etc.).

Don't share towels!

by LondonAndy - 2023-07-11 18:11:25

It may be obvious, but once you start washing normally after the waterproof plaster is removed, use a clean towel that has been washed at high temperature and don't share it with anyone else. With infection, the biggest risk is from other people, so don't let well-meaning friends and family touch the wound area. When I had heart surgery in 2014, I put a little table with handwash and paper towels on it and a note to say PLEASE WASH YOUR HANDS! 

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