At Surgical Services of Athens, we strive for one of the lowest infection rates in the state. During your surgery, we will give you antibiotics as needed, and we will cleanse the surgical site with an antiseptic at the time of surgery. Before, during, and after your surgery, we will closely monitor and correct your temperature and blood sugar (if indicated) which has been shown to reduce infections and to promote healing. Before surgery, you can play an important part in reducing infection risks. Thoroughly washing your skin at home prior to surgery can greatly reduce the number of germs on your skin and will help us to prevent infection. Please follow the instructions below to clean your skin with Hibiclens the night before and the morning of your surgery or procedure. Hibiclens is a brand name for the antiseptic soap chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG).
Bathing or showering steps:
- Before taking a shower, ensure that a clean towel and clean clothes are available.
- Wash body with regular soap and water first. Wash your hair using normal shampoo.
- Rinse hair and body thoroughly to remove soap and shampoo residue.
- Turn off the water temporarily to prevent rinsing off the Hibiclens too soon.
- Using a clean cloth, apply Hibiclens soap to your entire body from the neck down. Do not scrub the skin too hard. Do not use the Hibiclens solution near the eyes, ears, mouth, or genital area. Approximately half of the Hibiclens bottle should be used the night before the surgery.
- Pay special attention to the area where the surgery will be done, cleaning this area in a circular motion for about 3 minutes. Do not wash with regular soap after Hibiclens has been used.
- Turn the water back on and rinse the body thoroughly. Pat yourself dry with a clean towel.
- Do not shave or remove any body hair at this time. Do not apply any powders, deodorants, or lotions at this time.
Repeat the above process on the morning of your surgery, starting with step 4. Do not use regular soap or shampoo on the morning of the surgery. Again, use a new clean towel and clothing after the morning bath. Use the other half of the Hibiclens on the morning of the surgery. Dispose of the bottle after both showers are complete.
Hibiclens (or CHG soap) may be purchased at most large pharmacies. The soap may come in a liquid form, or in a scrub brush applicator. Either form is fine.
For emergency medical information regarding Hibiclens, call 1-800-328-0026.