Heart Institute Encyclopedia

Going Home After Heart Surgery

Care of Your Child's Incision

If your incision has Dermabond (“glue”):

  • Keep incision dry. If it gets dirty, lightly clean with mild soap and water and pat dry.
  • May shower with shower stream of water hitting back.
  • No tub bath or swimming in pool.
  • Dermabond falls off in about two weeks.
  • After glue falls off, continue to clean incision with soap and water and pat dry.  

If your incision has Steri-Strips (white tapes):

  • Gently clean incision daily with soap and water and pat dry.
  • May shower with shower stream of water hitting back.
  • No tub bath or swimming in pool.
  • Steri-Strips fall off in about two weeks.
  • After Steri-Strips fall off, continue to clean incision with soap and water and pat dry. 

No creams, oils or ointments should be applied to incision.  

Check the incision daily for signs of infection: redness, swelling, drainage, or fever above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Call our office if any of these signs are noted.  

Chest tube sites may have stitches in place. The doctor will remove five to seven days after chest tubes removed. Clean old chest tube sites with mild soap and water and pat dry. Call the doctor for redness, swelling, drainage, or fever above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.  

A healing skin is more sensitive to sun damage than normal skin. Clothing or a high SPF sun block should protect your child's incision when sun exposure cannot be avoided. These precautions should be taken as long as the scar looks pink (it will eventually return to normal skin color).

Show All

Diet After Heart Surgery

Activity After Heart Surgery

Common Behaviors After Heart Surgery

School and Day Care After Heart Surgery

Immunizations After Heart Surgery

Dental Care After Heart Surgery

Call Your Child's Doctor If:

Important Contact Numbers


Last Updated: 08/2013