Can I shower right after shoulder/elbow surgery?

You can shower right after the surgery if your dressings are waterproof and your incision site will not get wet. If your dressings are not waterproof, you should avoid soaking them in water.

After shoulder/elbow surgery, you will have a dressing over the incision area. This bandage will be removed on the second postoperative day. If the wound is dry and it does not leak, you are allowed to shower.

In the first days following your surgery, it is crucial to avoid:

  • soaking the incision area
  • bathing and swimming: you will be able to resume these activities after the sutures are extracted

It is also recommended to use a different sling just for showering.

Shower indications after shoulder/elbow surgery

You should not get in a bathtub or pool and immerse the incisions underwater until receiving your doctor’s confirmation, but you are allowed to take showers.

When showering after shoulder/elbow surgery, make sure to:

  • have the dressing or pain catheter removed
  • wear the separate sling
  • clean the incisions with regular soap
  • pat the area dry afterward
  • keep the dressings clean and dry or replace them with fresh ones

Disclaimer: We do not assume responsibility for the use of the provided information or its interpretation. Our efforts are towards providing current and reliable information; however these should not be considered, or used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment.

Source: https://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Education/Medical-Library/