Bathing Before Spine Surgery (2023)

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(Video) How to Shower With Hibiclens® Before Surgery

You will need to shower with special soap or wipes called chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG), or germ-killing treatment, before surgery. A shower using this soap or wipes will reduce your risk of getting an infection.

It is very important that you bathe with this treatment the day before your surgery in the morning, the night before your surgery and the morning of your surgery.

Why do I need to shower with CHG or Hibiclens?

  • This soap is better at removing germs on your skin than regular soap.
  • CHG works for 24 hours.
  • Surgeries, drains, some medicines and being ill make it easier to get an infection.
  • This soap helps keep you from getting an infection.
  • Hospitals have germs that are hard to treat.
  • If using wipes, please follow the instructions on the packaging.

How to Shower Using CHG Soap

During Shower

  • In the shower or tub, wash your hair, face and genitalia as usual with your normal shampoo and conditioner or soap.
  • Rinse your hair and body thoroughly to remove any soap and shampoo residue.
  • Turn the water off to avoid rinsing the Hibiclens soap off too soon.
  • With a clean washcloth, apply the Hibiclens soap liberally to your entire body, from your neck down. Follow the picture below going from number 1 to 8.
  • Make no contact with your eyes, ears, mouth, internal genitals, or open wounds.
  • Wash your body gently for five minutes, paying special attention to the area where the procedure will be done.
  • Turn the water back on and rinse your body thoroughly.
  • DO NOT wash with regular soap after the Hibiclens soap is used.

Bathing Before Spine Surgery (1)

Wash These Areas with CHG Soap

  • 1 = Neck, chest and tummy
  • 2 and 3 = Both arms, arm pits, hands and fingers
  • 4 and 5 = Both legs, feet and toes
  • 6 = Back of neck, back, and shoulders
  • 7 = Between your legs and private parts
  • 8 = Bottom

Note: Use soap and water on your face. DO NOT use CHG above your jawline

(Video) Top 10 Tips for Recovering Well After Spine Surgery

After Shower

  • Pat dry with a clean, soft towel.
  • Dress in clean pajamas or clothes.
  • Use clean sheets on your bed after washing.
  • DO NOT put lotions, powders or oils on your skin after bathing.

Important: If you feel itchy or if your skin turns red, rinse your skin with water and stop using the product and contact your physician or their office.


Can I take a bath before surgery? ›

We strongly recommend that you complete all preoperative documentation before the day of surgery. Can I bathe before my surgery? Yes, please bathe or shower prior to your surgery with antibacterial soap.

Why do you have to shower 3 times before surgery? ›

Your body needs to be thoroughly washed with a special soap called ChlorHexidine Gluconate (CHG or HIbiclens) before surgery. This is because all humans have germs on their skin that may cause an infection after surgery.

How do I prepare for spinal surgery? ›

One Month Before Surgery

Get plenty of exercise so that you are in good shape for surgery. The better physical shape you are in prior to surgery, the smoother the recovery process will be. If you smoke, you may need to stop smoking because of the risks related to anesthesia and the healing process.

Should I shower the day before surgery? ›

The night before a procedure or surgery you should shower or take a bath using your normal soap. If your doctor told you to use disposable wipes or a special soap, follow the instructions for Getting Your Skin Ready For Procedure/Surgery found in your Surgery Folder.

What is the importance of bathing before surgery? ›

Your skin is not sterile so you will need to clean your skin well before your surgery. Your surgical team will make sure that your surgery is done under sterile (germ-free) conditions. The antiseptic used to prepare your skin for surgery will work better if your skin is clean.

What should you not do before surgery? ›

Do not eat or drink anything for at least eight hours before your scheduled surgery. Do not chew gum or use any tobacco products. Leave jewelry and other valuables at home. Take out removable teeth prior to transfer to the operating room and do not wear glasses or contact lenses in the OR.

Why shouldn't you wear deodorant before surgery? ›

You can't wear deodorant during surgery because it can leave a residue on your skin that's difficult to remove. This residue might make it challenging for the surgeon to cut through the incision site or accurately assess your skin circulation during surgery.

Can I wash my hair the morning of surgery? ›

Sleep on clean bedding and dress in clean clothes after bathing. Hair: Many hair products and hair pieces contain highly flammable products. Your safety is our first priority. That's why we require that you wash your hair the night before or the morning of surgery using only shampoo and conditioner.

Do you have to sleep on clean sheets before surgery? ›

Have clean freshly laundered bed sheets, towels and pajamas ready for use the evening prior to surgery. Do not shave your pubic hair the day before or the day of surgery. If you would like to warm wipes prior to use, please place closed packet in a bowl of warm water at bathwater temperature.

What should you not do before spinal surgery? ›

DON'T takenonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). This includes ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin. “You should stop taking them a week before surgery,” Girardi says. They can thin your blood, which raises your risk of problems during surgery.

How many hours does spine surgery take? ›

Spinal fusion surgery usually takes four to six hours, but the time varies according to the individual patient. The surgeons will take as long as they need to do the job well.

How many days do you stay in the hospital after spinal surgery? ›

You'll usually be able to go home about 1 to 4 days after your operation. How long you need to stay in hospital will depend on the specific type of surgery you had and your general health. When you get home, it's important to take things easy at first, gradually increasing your level of activity every day.

Can I brush my teeth before surgery? ›

Can I brush my teeth the morning of surgery? Yes. You may brush your teeth and swish with a small amount of water to rinse.

What is the safest day to have surgery? ›

That dubious honour falls to Wednesday, when the joys of the preceding weekend have been forgotten and the delights of the next one still seem some way off. One reason for the good cheer may be that, according to research from Imperial College London, Mondays are the safest day on which to have an operation.

Can I have water the night before surgery? ›

You are encouraged to drink clear liquids before surgery or anesthesia — NOT milk or dairy products — until 2 hours before the time you are scheduled to arrive at the hospital or surgery center. Staying hydrated is good for you, and it's especially important in hot weather! Clear, see-through liquids include: Water.

Why do you have to wait 48 hours after surgery to shower? ›

This is because your wound should not be soaked in water until it's healed. It could cause the skin to soften and reopen the wound. Guidelines published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) say you can have a shower 48 hours after surgery.

Does bathing promote healing? ›

Baths can help heal wounds

Dr. Zack says that baths can help soothe infected sores and wounds. Your doctor may recommend soaking the area with a warm saltwater solution to aid healing. However, some wounds should be kept dry, so check with your doctor before dipping.

What should you not do 7 days before surgery? ›

Please stop taking all herbal remedies, aspirin, and anti-inflammatory medications (Advil, Aleve, Ibuprofen, Motrin, Naproxen, etc.) seven days prior to surgery unless otherwise instructed. However, it is okay to take Tylenol (acetaminophen) if something is needed for pain.

What not to do a week before surgery? ›

Do not take herbal supplements, including vitamin E and Fish Oil, one week before surgery. Do not take anti-inflammatories (such as ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, Daypro, Aleve, Naprosyn, naproxen, etc.) for five days prior to surgery, or as instructed by your surgeon. Do not shave the operative site for 48 hours prior.

What foods to avoid 2 weeks before surgery? ›

During the two weeks leading up to surgery, you should avoid eating fish or taking fish oil or omega-3 supplements. Omega-3 fats can interfere with blood clotting and increase bleeding during surgery. You should even avoid some spices for the same reason, including two common ones: garlic and ginger.

Why do you wear socks during surgery? ›

Even if it's an outpatient or same-day surgery, compression socks are often prescribed. When you have to be off your feet for a period of time – and particularly for surgeries on the hip, knee, legs or abdomen – there's an increase in your risk for DVT.

Can I shave my armpits before surgery? ›

Do not shave or wax any area on your body for a week before surgery (legs, bikini, underarms, etc.). Shaving can nick the skin and increase the risk of wound infection. If hair needs to be removed, it will be done at the hospital.

How should you wear your hair for surgery? ›

If you have long hair, consider braiding it or putting it in a ponytail. Don't put on makeup or use any hair products. Remove your contact lenses and wear your eye glasses to the hospital (if this applies to you) Remove all jewelry, including any and ALL piercings (leave them at home).

How many hours before surgery should I shower? ›

You will need to take three CHG showers. The first shower is 2 days before surgery, then the night before surgery, and the morning of surgery. hair and body thoroughly afterward to remove the residue.

Can I wear deodorant for surgery? ›

Do not wear makeup, lotion, powder, deodorant or nail polish. It is important to remove your nail polish so that the doctors and nurses can see your true color during the surgery and in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit. The color of the skin and nail beds is an important sign of blood circulation.

Why do you have to arrive 2 hours before surgery? ›

On the day of surgery, you may be asked to arrive several hours before your procedure is scheduled to begin. This allows the staff to complete any tests that cannot be performed until the day of surgery.

Is it good to sleep the night before surgery? ›

It is important that you get a good night's sleep before your surgery. If you find you are nervous or anxious the night before, you can take an over-the-counter sleep aid. If you are already on a nerve medication, e.g., diazepam, please contact your primary care doctor for instructions.

Who cleans the operating room after surgery? ›

Surgical nurse clears the operating room for instruments, sterile and used equipment. Anaesthesia personnel takes care of own equipment.

What shoes to wear to hospital for surgery? ›

Dansko Professional clogs are expensive but are probably the best in this class. Sanita clogs are supposedly now made in the original Dansko factory. Birkenstock, Keen or Clarks clogs are good alternatives. Crocs are tempting but have poor support, minimal ventilation and have been banned in some hospitals.

What is the fastest way to recover from spinal surgery? ›

  1. Take only short walks for the first 2 weeks after surgery. ...
  2. You may go up or down stairs once a day for the first 1 or 2 weeks, if it does not cause much pain or discomfort.
  3. Do not start swimming, golfing, running, or other more strenuous activities until you see your doctor.
Jun 13, 2021

What is the best way to sleep after spine surgery? ›

Doctors recommend sleeping on your back or your side as you heal from spine surgery. Sleeping on your belly is generally not recommended because your spine is not in a neutral position for a prolonged period. Consider wearing satin pajamas to bed to help it make it easier for you to adjust your sleeping position.

How long is bed rest after spinal surgery? ›

You don't need to fear being bed-ridden for weeks after spinal surgery, since it's of the utmost importance to your post-surgical recovery to get up very soon. Movement is critical to proper healing after spinal surgery, so you can expect to get out of bed the same day or the very next day after surgery.

How long can I sit after spine surgery? ›

Sitting is limited to 20 minutes at a time for the first two weeks after surgery. This is increased to 40 minutes by four weeks. You should return to bed or go for a short walk if you start to feel uncomfortable. Periods of sitting can be repeated many times a day with a rest lying down in between for 30 to 60 minutes.

Is it better to lay down or sit after back surgery? ›

The right way to sleep after back surgery

The best position to sleep in after spine surgery is lying flat on your back, placing a pillow below your knees or lying sideways with a pillow between your bent knees.

Do you need a walker after back surgery? ›

You will need an assistance device such as a walker or cane for the first week; however, you should strive to limit the use of this device after the first two to three weeks when you are on stable ground. By the end of the first month, you should be able to walk one mile without your assistance device.

How much pain are you in after spinal surgery? ›

As the back continues to heal, patients usually start to feel better and find they can take on more activities. The worst pain is generally over by 4 weeks after surgery. Pain is likely to continue to decrease gradually, but some patients continue to have pain 3 to 6 months after surgery.

How painful is spinal surgery? ›

Myth #3: Recovery from spine surgery is unbearably painful.

In general, pain is usually the worst during the first one to three days after the surgery. After that, it should begin to subside. You may feel some mild to moderate pain for up to six weeks after the surgery, but you should not feel severe pain.

What are the best pre surgery meals? ›

The best meals before surgery will include a balance of lean protein, unprocessed carbohydrates, vegetables, and healthy (mainly plant-based) fats. Lean protein sources could include eggs, chicken, and fish. You can add a range of healthy carbohydrates like bananas, buckwheat, quinoa, sweet potatoes, and more.

Can I get a pedicure before surgery? ›

It is not advisable for you to get either a pedicure or manicure prior to your surgery due to the risk of injury or infection. We ask that you do not wear nail polish due to the need for the doctors and nurses to be able to see your natural finger nail to check your circulation.

Why can't you wear lotion before surgery? ›

Why can't I wear lotion on the day of my procedure? Lotions, creams, or powders can make it hard for the operating room staff to stick monitoring devices to your skin.

What month is worst for surgery? ›

The July effect, sometimes referred to as the July phenomenon, is a perceived but scientifically unfounded increase in the risk of medical errors and surgical complications that occurs in association with the time of year in which United States medical school graduates begin residencies.

Is it better to have surgery in morning OR afternoon? ›

Time of Day Matters

When considering the time of day to schedule your surgery, it's often recommended that anytime between 9 AM and noon work best. Bright and early allows every party to feel ready, and it's best to get it done sooner rather than later. This way, you'll have all day to recover.

Which month is best for surgery? ›

Scheduling your surgery for the fall can also ensure that you are recovered by summer.
  • Rainy or cold weather can be ideal for recovering;
  • Less risk of sun exposure;
  • Weather is less likely to impede travel;
  • Season depression may not be as severe, depending on your location.
Oct 27, 2022

Why drink Gatorade before surgery? ›

Why does your anesthesiologist require you to drink Gatorade before surgery? Gatorade helps to increase your comfort before surgery and to decrease your nausea after surgery. The carbohydrates in Gatorade help reduce your body's stress response to surgery.

Why do you have to drink apple juice before surgery? ›

Drinking 500 mL (2 cups) of clear apple juice or cranberry cocktail 3 hours before your Surgery Time is called carbohydrate loading (carb loading). Carb loading helps your body have enough energy to get through the physical stress of surgery. The extra energy helps you begin your recovery immediately after surgery.

What should be the last meal before surgery? ›

Be sure to eat a light meal as the last thing you consume prior to surgery. Soup is a great option, while a heavy meal with a lot of fat will take longer for your body to digest.

Can I use deodorant before surgery? ›

You will be asked to refrain from applying deodorant, perfume, moisturisers and powder on your skin before surgery. You can usually shower the morning of your surgery and this is encouraged.

How many hours before surgery should you stop drinking water? ›

You are encouraged to drink clear liquids before surgery or anesthesia — NOT milk or dairy products — until 2 hours before the time you are scheduled to arrive at the hospital or surgery center. Staying hydrated is good for you, and it's especially important in hot weather!

Can I use lotion and deodorant before surgery? ›

Do not wear makeup, lotion, powder, deodorant or nail polish. It is important to remove your nail polish so that the doctors and nurses can see your true color during the surgery and in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit. The color of the skin and nail beds is an important sign of blood circulation.

Is your gown removed during surgery? ›

Do they remove gown for surgery? In some cases, it may be necessary to remove the gown in order to provide proper access to the surgical site. In other cases, the gown may be left in place if it does not interfere with the surgery.


1. Shower After Surgery? When Is It Safe?
(Talking With Docs)
2. Activity after Spine Surgery
(Allina Health)
3. Returning Home after Spine Surgery
(Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC))
4. Day 4 post op first shower spine fusion surgery L5/S1
5. Spinal Surgery: Bathroom Mobility
(Northwest Hospital Occupational Therapy)
6. Posterior Spinal Fusion: Incision Care
(Children's National Hospital)
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