How do I protect the incision after an XLIF/DLIF lateral fusion procedure?

Before you are discharged, we will make sure you are well aware of all the aftercare instructions you should follow in order to have a fast recovery.

Your medical team will tell you how to take care of your incisions after undergoing XLIF/DLIF Lateral Fusion. The surgical wounds should be kept clean and dry to avoid the risk of infections.

Further fundamental guidelines include:

  • changing your dressing every day
  • washing your hands when cleaning the incision
  • showering 1-4 days after the intervention, washing the area gently, and patting it dry

You should avoid bathtubs or swimming pools until your doctor tells you it’s safe to resume normal activities.

XLIF/DLIF lateral fusion incision aftercare instructions

Bandages should be changed starting with the second day after the intervention and used until your incision heals completely or your doctor informs you otherwise. Recommendations:

  • use clean, dry gauze to change the wound daily
  • change it daily to protect the incision

Drainage daily output should be assessed while following the instructions received before hospital discharge:

  • cover the incision with a dry dressing
  • watch out for spreading redness and colored drainage

Bathing should be replaced with quick showers, taken up to four days after the surgery. Let clean water run over the incision and make sure not to:

  • scrub the incision directly
  • apply ointment on the incision
  • soak in a bathtub, hot tub, or swimming pool
  • keep pets in your bed until the incision heals

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/