If you have recently had abdominal surgery, you may worry about the possibility of doing something that could tear open your incision, especially little actions that you may not have realized can put a strain on your stomach. If so, use the following tips to help you be careful doing otherwise normal activities while you have an abdominal incision.
Avoid Opening Doors or Jars
When you have an abdominal incision, doing any activity that causes you to put pressure on or twist your stomach area could pull the edges of the site apart. When you open a door, you are not only pulling or pushing with extra weight, but the movement requires the use of your core to some degree, causing you to put a strain on your abdomen.
Even doing something as simple as opening a new jar of food could cause enough strain from the twist to open up the incision. Until the incision has had time to heal, have someone else open doors and jars for you to eliminate the risks either of these actions poses.
Brace Yourself When You Cough or Sneeze
Another usually normal activity that could cause you to bust open a fresh incision if you are not careful is coughing or sneezing. When you cough or sneeze, your diaphragm engages the muscles to push air through your mouth or nose.
As the air is forcibly pushed, the pressure on your stomach increases. If you are not prepared for this sudden increase in pressure, the contraction and release of the muscles could open your incision.
Whenever you have the urge to cough or sneeze, place a pillow over your stomach, and hold it against yourself. The pillow will help hold the incision in place. If you cannot reach a pillow in time, place your hands over the incision, and apply gentle pressure.
However, if you use your hands, try to make sure you place your hands so that the incision is positioned in the center of your palms. If you use your fingers over the incision, any sudden change in position caused by a coughing or sneezing fit could shift the tips of your fingers over the incision where they run the risk of penetrating and pulling the edges.
Using the above tips can help you keep your the surgical incision on your stomach intact. If you have any concerns or need more personalized advice on taking care of your incision, speak with the doctor who performed your surgical procedure.