Preparing your skin for surgery

Leading up to surgery

Accordion Content

Shower once every day for at least 3 days before your surgery using the special body wash.

  1. Wash your hair, face and body with normal shampoo, conditioner and normal skin cleaner then wash it off completely.
  2. Turn off the shower.
  3. Pour the special body wash onto a clean wet washcloth and rub it all over your body – mainly under your arms, groin and other areas such as breasts or skin folds. Do not use it on your face or eyes.
  4. Rub the washcloth all over your entire body for 3 to 5 minutes. You may need to add extra body wash.
  5. Turn on the shower and rinse the body wash off.
  6. You’re not finished yet:
  7. Do these steps 2-5 one more time.
  8. Dry your body afterwards with a clean towel. Use a clean towel each day.
  9. Repeat every day for at least 3 days before your surgery, including on the morning of your surgery, using the special preoperative body wash.

 Some patients may be required to use the special body wash or a bacteria-killing ointment for longer before surgery. Ask the team if you will need to do this.

On the day of surgery

Accordion Content
  • Do not use lotions, creams, powders or under-arm deodorant. These can make it hard for the operating room staff to stick heart monitoring dots to your skin.
  • Do not shave or wax below the neck (facial shaving is allowed). Shaving or waxing can cause small cuts that introduce infection.
  • Do not wear lipstick, nail polish or facial makeup. Remove acrylic or fake nails in the weeks before surgery. This will help the operating room staff monitor the true colour of your skin and nails during surgery. Small particles of makeup could go into your eyes while you are asleep under anaesthetic. Fake nails hide bacteria.
  • Do not use hairspray or hair gel as these can be flammable. 

Staff steps to protect you

Accordion Content

We expect all of our staff to be very careful in following our rules to protect you:

  • Every member of staff must clean their hands using the alcohol rub or soap and water, before they touch you. You should clean your hands too while in hospital
  • Staff should wear a plastic apron if the front of their body touches you
  • Staff don’t need to wear gloves to touch you unless they are expecting to have contact with your blood, urine, or other body substance
  • Every piece of equipment that is used on more than one patient must be cleaned before it touches you, and again after it has been used
  • Your room should look clean. There should be no dust, and there should be nothing left behind from previous patients.

Tell us if you see someone not following these rules.