Vascular Surgery Groin Incision Care
The doctor made an incision in your groin for vascular surgery or a procedure. You will leave the
hospital before this fully heals. Groin incision care should be done every day. Your nurse will
tell you if more is needed.
How to Do Groin Incision Care
Your incision is most often closed with stitches or staples. You may get the incision wet in the
shower. Do not swim or soak in a bathtub or hot tub.
ξ Clean the wound and groin. Gently clean it with mild soap and water. Remove any
dried drainage. Do not scrub the incision. Rinse off all the soap.
ξ Pat the incision dry with a towel. Completely dry the groin. Do not use any lotions,
alcohols, powders, or oils on your incision.
ξ Cover the wound with gauze.
ξ Use paper tape to hold the gauze in place.
ξ You may use a band aid to cover the would instead of guaze.
Why Do Groin Incision Care
About 2/3 of all infections after vascular surgery involve the groin wound. The groin areas are
where the legs meet the belly. The skin in that area folds over to make a crease. Moisture in that
crease can lead to an infection. Wash and dry the groin daily. This can help to avoid an
Look at your wound every day. Call your doctor if you notice any signs of infection.
Signs of Infection
ξ An increase in redness or warmth at the incision site.
ξ Red streaks that start at the stitches or staples.
ξ New drainage or bleeding from your wound. Drainage may be foul-smelling, cloudy,
yellow or green.
ξ Bulging or increased swelling at incision site.
ξ A temperature more than 101.5° F (38.5° C) by mouth for two readings taken 4 hours
ξ A sudden increase in pain at the wound that is not relieved by your pain medicine.
Vascular Surgery Clinic - (608) 263-8915 (8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday).
After hours, the clinic number will be answered by the hospital paging operator. Ask for the
Vascular Surgery doctor on-call. Give paging your name and phone number with the area code.
The doctor will call you back.
If you live out of the area, call 1-800-323-8942.
Pounds, L., Montes-Walters, M., Mayhall, C., Falk, P., Sanderson, E., Hunter, G., & Killewich,
L. (2005). A changing pattern of infection after major vascular reconstructions. Vascular
& Endovascular Surgery, 39(6), 511-517.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright ©3/2015. University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7348.