Shower after heart surgery: when is it safe?

2 answers | Last updated: Mar 21, 2012
Clara tiara asked...

How soon after a quadruple heart bypass and leg surgery can my husband take a shower? We are concerned about getting his wounds wet.

Expert Answers

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

Frankly, I am surprised that they did not tell you this information when your husband was discharged from the hospital. Usually, once you are discharged from the hospital, it is OK to shower using a mild soap, as long as the incisions look good. However, I would recommend you call your husband's surgeon and ask, as this would be the safest thing to do.

Community Answers

Kymed answered...

Until the surgeon says that it is ok for a full bath, you can use moist wipes to freshen up. After my step fathers surgery, I would use adult wipes to freshen him up between bathing schedules. I found that the moist wipes were very handy and they are thick + disposable. They did not dry out his skin because they do not contain alcohol! You can save trips to the store + money if you buy them in bulk! The ones I ordered were from twin med is the link for those wipes: