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 until your cardiologist says it is OK.
  • 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 until cardiologist says it is OK.
  • 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 in the six weeks immediately after surgery.  

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

Chest tube sites may have stitches in place. The doctor will remove these five to seven days after the chest tubes are removed unless dissolvable sutures are used that will fall out on their own after about two weeks. 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.  

The 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.