Hibiclens shower: Preventing surgical site infections

Preventing an infection before, during, and after your surgery is an important step in making sure your operation goes smoothly and that your recovery is on track.

Use Hibiclens soap to help prevent surgical site infections

You play an important part in helping to prevent a surgical site infection. Let’s review what you will need to do.

Do not shave the skin around your surgery site for seven days before your surgery.

At the appointment before your surgery, you will receive a bottle of Hibiclens soap. Hibiclens is a powerful disinfectant that will help make sure your skin is free of germs. It looks and feels just like liquid soap and should be used liked a shower gel.

You will need to shower the night before and the morning of your surgery. Use half of the Hibiclens soap in your evening shower and the other half in your morning shower.

Follow these steps to help prevent surgical site infections

  • Use a clean washcloth and a clean towel for each shower.
  • Remove all body piercings and jewelry, and leave them out until after your surgery.
  • In the shower, wash your body with your regular soap first, and wash your hair with your regular shampoo.
  • Be sure to rinse off thoroughly to remove any remaining soap and shampoo residue.

Clean your skin with Hibiclens

  • Using the washcloth, clean your skin with Hibiclens. Use enough gel to cover your entire body, about half the bottle. You don’t need to scrub your skin, but make sure you clean the area where your surgery will be done.
  • Hibiclens is a strong disinfectant, so do not use it on or near your face, eyes, ears, or head. Also, do not wash with your regular soap after using Hibiclens.
  • After your shower, pat yourself dry with a clean, soft towel. Do not put on any deodorants, lotions, powders, or oils afterwards. Be sure to put on clean clothing.
  • During the morning shower on the day of your surgery, you may use your regular soap to wash your face, but do not wash your hair before using Hibiclens.
  • If you are allergic to Hibiclens, use an antibacterial soap instead, following the same steps as if you were using Hibiclens.
  • If you cannot use the shower, wash yourself with Hibiclens at the sink. Make sure the sink is clean before you begin, and do the best you can to clean your entire body.

Plan ahead to prepare for your surgery

When it comes to surgery, planning ahead is always important. Please don’t hesitate to ask your doctor or nurse any questions you may have or if you would like more information.

Working together, we can best prevent a surgical site infection—and put you on the path to a speedy recovery.

Last reviewed: 
July 2016

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