HF 7348

Vascular Surgery Groin Incision Care

You have an incision in your groin from vascular surgery. Your incision is usually closed with stitches or staples. You will leave the hospital before it fully heals. Clean your groin incision every day.

Cleaning Your Incision

  1. Clean the wound and groin. Gently clean the wound with mild soap and water. Remove any dried drainage. Do not scrub the incision. Rinse off all the soap.

  2. Pat the incision dry with a towel. Completely dry the groin. Do not use any lotions, alcohols, powders, or oils on your incision.

  3. Cover the wound with a band aid.


You may get the incision wet in the shower. Do not swim or soak in a bathtub or hot tub.
The groin area is 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 to avoid an infection.

Signs of Infection

Look at your wound every day. Call your doctor if you notice any of these signs of infection:

  • Increased redness or warmth at the incision site.

  • Red streaks that start at the stitches or staples.

  • New foul-smelling, cloudy, yellow or green drainage or bleeding from your wound.

  • Bulging or increased swelling at incision site.

  • Fever over 101.5° F (38.5° C) for two readings taken by mouth 4 hours apart.

  • Sudden increase in pain at the wound that is not relieved by your pain medicine.

Who to Call

Vascular Surgery Clinic

Monday-Friday, 8 am to 5 pm

(608) 263-8915

After hours, the clinic number will be answered by the paging operator. Ask for the Vascular Surgery doctor on-call. Give your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.

The toll-free number is 1-800-323-8942.

If you are a patient receiving care at UnityPoint – Meriter, Swedish American or a health system outside of UW Health, please use the phone numbers provided in your discharge instructions for any questions or concerns.