Tummy and showering after radical nephrectomy

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Hi, I've had strip

washes since Sunday. Am I now able to shower and wash where my incisions are full radical nephrectomy left kidney removal. My dressings don't look oozed. I was told they are all dissolving stitches. If I shower today will I open up my wounds?? Operation was on Friday 21/6 and dressings changed once since. Please advise thanks 

  • Hi Jd19801,

    Thank you for your question. My name is Penelope, and I am one of the Cancer Information Nurses on the Macmillan Support Line.

    Post operative advice about dressings and wound care can vary from hospital to hospital. It may also differ depending on whether the procedure was keyhole or if the incisions are larger. If you were given any written information before or after your operation, there may be advice in there as to when you can take the dressings off and get the wounds wet.  You may also have been given a number of who to contact with any queries after your operation. Alternatively, you could contact your clinical nurse specialist (CNS) if you have one.

    I have included some general information from The Royal College of Surgeons of England on what to expect after the operation. This is information about a laparoscopic (keyhole) nephrectomy – what to expect after the operation. It suggests that most people will have dissolvable stitches and that “you do not need to keep the scars covered, though some people find it more comfortable to do so. You do not need to worry about getting the scar wet”.

    As I said this is only general information so please do check with your own hospital team about what their preference is. If you do have any concerns about your wounds once the dressings are removed, then the practice nurse at your GP surgery may also be able to help.

    I hope this information is helpful and wish you well with your ongoing recovery.

    You can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or send us an email.

    Best wishes

    Penelope, Cancer Information Nurse Specialist


    Ref/ PN/SF