Wound care instructions for GP’s for patients following open heart surgery:

  1. Mediastinal sutures (sutures on lower chest area, distal to sternal suture line) are to come out 10 days following removal of drain tubes in hospital
  2. Patients will be sent home with a dressing on their sternum and graft sites. Dressings MUST be taken down 3-5 days following discharge from hospital
  3. It is anticipated that one week following discharge from hospital the wounds should no longer need a dressing
  4. Suture line wounds should be covered up again with a waterproof dressing ONLY  if there is clear haemoserous ooze and then must be checked regularly. Please call the Cardiothoracic Registrar on call 9594 3268 or 9594 6666 immediately if any sign of infection
  5. NO betadine, lotions, creams, powders to be put on suture line wounds
  6. Please monitor for any signs of infection: fever, bleeding, pus like discharge, swelling, increased redness, pain, clicking of sternum, poorly healing or gaping suture lines
  7. If any concerns regarding suture lines please call 9594 3268/9594 6666 and ask to speak to the Cardiothoracic Registrar on call


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