Do not replace surgical dressings before 48 hours have elapsed from the operation.

Type of practice

Other health practices

Topic Area


Traditional dressing of the surgical site should not be removed or replaced for 48 hours unless there is seepage, bleeding or clear signs of alterations in situ (in this case it should be replaced). The frequent change of medication is a useless activity and a waste of time and materials that do not protect the patient against any risk of contracting an infection.


2. WHO, Global guidelines for the prevention of surgical site infection, 2016.
3. UK Government Web Archive - High Impact Intervention Care bundle to prevent surgical site infection, 2011.

Attention. Please note that these items are provided only for information and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a clinician. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their clinician.