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Old 05-31-2005, 01:41 PM   #1
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How do I shower/bathe after surgery?

Well, I'm 10 days away from my first bunionectomy and I'm in the process of getting my scripts filled, my ice packs bought and books reserved at the library. I didn't ask the doctor how one goes about bathing/showering after a bunionectomy. I will have the foot wrapped, of course, and I think at the one week mark post surgery I have the bandages changed and then a week after that my stitches removed and then I believe I'll be in a surgical shoe for an additional few weeks. In the first few weeks, though, how are you to bathe/shower? I had hand surgery years ago and just wrapped a bread bag around my hand, rubber banded it and showered being careful to keep my hand as dry as possible. Same idea with foot surgery? It just seems alot more complicated because of the whole balance thing.... any suggestions or advice?

 
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Old 05-31-2005, 01:52 PM   #2
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feetfirst HB User
Re: How do I shower/bathe after surgery?

Sounds like you are doing a good job getting prepared! I purchased a "cast cover" through my doctor's office, but you should be able to find one at your local drug store as well. The first week is a bit difficult to shower, as your foot may hurt to have it down that long, and your bandage will be very large - and hard to get your foot in that cast cover. Sponge bathing, and shampooing your hair will make you feel like a new women! After your stitches are removed, you'll be bandaged again but it won't be as large as the first one. You should be okay to use the cast cover. I would insert my shoe into it, and then my foot, and squeeze my hands in and strap the boot on. It does take a bit of work to take a shower, and truthfully - I skip a couple days, and sponge bathe in between. After 2 weeks, you most likely will be able to shower without the cover, but it is still awkward - as you'll have to balance yourself on your heal to get in and out. TIP: either have a shower chair or use a 5 gal. bucket of some type (I have a bucket from home depot) to sit on, it will make your showers MUCH easier. Total time I was in my surgical shoe - 6 weeks. Hope this info helps!

 
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Old 05-31-2005, 02:24 PM   #3
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Re: How do I shower/bathe after surgery?

When I had my bunionectomy, to bathe, I would sit sideways in the bathtub and hang my feet over the edge. (I had both feet done at the same time.) This seemed to work better for me than trying to keep my balance while using the cast cover. For me, also, the cast was actually bigger than the hole in the top of the cast cover. Total time I was in a surgical shoe was about 4 weeks, then I wore my husband's sneakers for about a month after that before I could get into my own shoes comfortably. Best of luck with the surgery!

 
Old 05-31-2005, 02:49 PM   #4
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Re: How do I shower/bathe after surgery?

I'm in a cast up to my knee, as I was with my first foot, and I got a shower chair - it's actually a bench; just a seat w/four legs that have rubber feet - no slipping! With the last foot I'd sit in a chair next to the bathtub, put the good foot in the tub, then transfer over to the shower seat, leaving my cast outside the tub. It can be a bit difficult without help - I was always so deathly afraid I'd try to stand on my cast! We have a hand-held showerhead, so it's pretty easy after that. When getting out, just do the reverse, though you may want to dry off first, and just be careful.

Now, I use my Rolleraid as the chair outside the tub, but instead of sitting, I have my knee on the seat, then put my good foot inside the tub - it REALLY helps that I'm already standing! So, if you can rest your knee on the chair before you step into the tub, you shouldn't have a problem.

For me, the main problem with bathing was being NWB.

 
Old 05-31-2005, 03:39 PM   #5
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Re: How do I shower/bathe after surgery?

I skipped the shower chair and just sat on the floor of the tub. Fortunately, things worked out so that when I was facing the showerhead, the surgery foot was on the outside. So I would sit on the ledge, then slide down into the tub, then put my leg outside the shower curtain on the ledge. That kept it elevated and dry, although I still used a garbage bag. I attached the garbage bag with 2 inch wide masking tape. I'm not sure how well it would keep out a stream of water, but it kept out drips and it didn't hurt to pull off my skin. So I showered sitting on the floor of the tub. Then I turned off the showerhead and just had the lower spout on. So I turned around with my head under the spout to wash my hair. I got one of those foam pool noodle things and cut it into five hunks and duct taped them into a pyramid to use as a pillow while washing my hair.

One of the days soon after surgery, I didn't feel like going through all that stuff and the hair washing, so I went to get a haircut and had them wash my hair. It was a nice treat.

Good luck on your surgery!

 
Old 05-31-2005, 05:41 PM   #6
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Re: How do I shower/bathe after surgery?

With my neurectomy and cheilectomy both they gave me a cast cover. It was great!
I would sit on the side of the tub and put the cast cover on then slide into the tub. A life saver! I usually wash my hair on my knees bending over the tub anyway so that wasn't a problem. Be sure to get one!

 
Old 05-31-2005, 06:50 PM   #7
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Re: How do I shower/bathe after surgery?

I'm actually not getting a cast at all; I'm getting permanent screws put in and my foot will be wrapped/bandaged then I get a surgical shoe. I asked about a cast and he said I wasn't getting one, not with the type of surgery I'm having. So, should I still purchase a cast cover for bathing/showering even if I'm not getting a cast? I still need to keep the bandages dry.

 
Old 05-31-2005, 09:20 PM   #8
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Re: How do I shower/bathe after surgery?

I just tied a plastic bag around my cast, then around my bandages. Since my foot was never in the shower, that worked fine.

For those of you who sit in the tub and/or kneel to wash your hair - were you NWB? How did you get up?

 
Old 05-31-2005, 10:12 PM   #9
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Re: How do I shower/bathe after surgery?

I was NWB. I would put both legs over the ledge, then use my arms to push myself up to sitting on the ledge. I would push up from the ledge on the sides on the tub near the wall. I hope that makes sense.

 
Old 05-31-2005, 10:56 PM   #10
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Re: How do I shower/bathe after surgery?

I bought a cast cover and got it over both big bandages and a cast. It was a lifesaver. I sat on a bucket (tall cat litter one) in the shower and it was wonderful. It is important to keep those bandages nice and dry.

 
Old 06-01-2005, 06:31 AM   #11
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feetfirst HB User
Re: How do I shower/bathe after surgery?

I didn't have a cast either, however, you still need to keep your foot dry, and will be instructed not to get it wet. I used a SEAL-TIGHT® Cast and Bandage Protector, and it worked well.

 
Old 06-01-2005, 09:27 AM   #12
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Re: How do I shower/bathe after surgery?

My cast protector is the same one Feetfirst used and I got it at the local drug store.

 
Old 06-02-2005, 09:21 AM   #13
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Re: How do I shower/bathe after surgery?

I'm from the calcaneus fracture thread where we are NWB for several months so showering was not easy. I found that shower chairs were expensive so I simply used the hard plastic lawn chair on a rubber mat - total cost would be less than $10 at Wal-Mart but mine was free since I already had both! It was comfortable and secure and along with a handheld shower and a cast protector or a towel around the knee and cast leg propped on edge of tub, showering was much easier. Good luck with your surgery. Be patient and heal fast!
batty

 
Old 06-05-2005, 07:39 AM   #14
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Cool Re: How do I shower/bathe after surgery?

I purchased a "shower guard" from my pod doc...
it worked great!!....does not allow any water to get in..can take a shower or bath with it on..goes right over the cast and all..
highly recommend it.

good luck on your surgery...
all will be fine.
__________________
~~Maya~~

 
Old 06-06-2005, 01:37 PM   #15
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Re: How do I shower/bathe after surgery?

HI

I had bunion surgery and a few subsequent surgeries due to complications last summer. I found what worked best was a board that I wrapped in a towel that I could lay across the tub. Wasn't that easy but it sure beats a sponge bath!

 
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