The Importance of Infection Control

The Importance of Infection Control

My team and I work hard to prevent infections. During your surgery, we will give antibiotics as needed, clean the skin and closely watch things like your body temperature and blood sugar. All of these can prevent infection.

We also need your skin to be as free of germs as possible before your surgery or procedure. Thoroughly washing the skin can greatly reduce the number of germs and help us prevent infection. Please follow the instructions below to clean your skin before surgery or procedure.

Preoperative Hibiclens Bathing Instructions

Before surgery it is vital that you take an important role in your surgical care. To assist in the prevention of a surgical site infection we ask that you follow these instructions to prepare your skin to be as germ free as possible.

You need to shower with a special soap called chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG). A common name for this soap is Hibiclens, but any brand is acceptable to use.

If you are allergic to CHG or for any other reason that washing with CHG is not possible, please follow the instructions below and use antibacterial soap.


Hibiclens Patient Instructions for Skin Cleaning for Bathing or ShowersRead the “Drug Facts” information and directions on the bottle

  1. Hibiclens is not to be used on the head or face, keeo out of eyes, ears and mouth
  2. Hibiclens is not to be used in the genital area
  3. Hibiclens should not be used if you are allergic to chlorhexidine gluconate or any other ingredients in this preparation

Night before Surgery

  1. When you bathe or shower
  2. Wash your hair as usual with your regular shampoo. Then rinse hair and body thoroughly to remove any shampoo residue
  3. Wash your face with regular soap or water only
  4. Wash your genitals with regular soap or water only
  5. Thoroughly rinse your body with warm water from the neck down
  6. Turn off the water to prevent rinsing the CHG soap off too soon
  7. Apply the minimum amount of Hibiclens necessary to cover the skin. Use Hibiclens as you would any other liquid soap. You can apply Hibiclens gently to the skinand wash gently with a wash cloth (recommended 3-5 minutes) pay special attention to the area of surgery.
  8. Turn the water back on and rinse thoroughly with warm water from head to toe.
  9. Do not use your regular soap after applying and rinsing Hibiclens
  10. Pat yourself dry with a clean towel
  11. Do not apply lotion, powders or perfumes to the areas cleaned with Hibiclens
  12. Put on clean clothes

Morning of Surgery

  1. If time permits follow ‘Night before Surgery’ instructions
  2. If time is limited just wash the area intended for surgery as the instructions above state.

CHG soap can be purchased at most large pharmacies, including CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid. Please call the Pharmacy to be sure they have CHG in stock.

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