A guide for patients having coronary artery bypass surgery
Hospital  >  Care Programs  >  Schulich Heart Program  >  Patient and family education  >  Tests and treatments  >  Coronary artery bypass surgery guide  >  Taking care of your incisions after coronary bypass surgery

Taking care of your incisions

The appearance of your incisions will improve over time. During the first weeks after surgery you may notice itching, swelling, redness or bruising, numbness or soreness around your incisions. You may also notice small amounts of fluid coming from the incisions used for your chest tubes. This is common and will gradually disappear.

If you experience discomfort you may take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or another medication ordered by your doctor.

Use bandages if you want to

Covering your incisions with bandages is not necessary. If you experience some drainage from your chest tube incisions, you may want to use a bandage to protect your clothing. DO NOT apply any lotions, creams or powders until your incisions are healed and the scabs have come off.

Wear comfortable clothing

Women should wear a comfortable bra to put less stress on the incision. Avoid bra with front closures or underwire if they touch the incision.

Protect your incision from direct sunlight

To help your wound heal, cover your incision from sunlight for about 1 year.