Pre-Surgical Shower Guidelines

Your whole body is going into the sterile (clean) operating room.  You will need to be as clean as possible to help prevent infection. 

We ask that you buy a special soap with CHLORHEXIDINE in it.  Hibiclens© is the brand name, but generic brands are less money. You do not need more than a 4-ounce bottle. This can be found at your local pharmacy and most food stores. This special soap works best when it is repeated, so you will need to shower with it the evening before AND the morning of your surgery. Once you start using it, do not use any powders, perfumes, or lotions as these can affect the special soap’s ability to kill germs. You must NOT shave the area that is being operated on for the two days before surgery.


  • Your washcloths, towels, pajamas, bed sheets, and clothes must all be freshly washed.
  • Use a fresh washcloth and towel for each shower and put on clean pajamas each night.
  • Keep pets out of your bed that night and until your surgical incision is healed.

In the Shower 

  • Rinse with WARM water. Turn the water off and stay in the shower.
  • Using a fresh, clean washcloth, apply the special soap from the neck down.
  • Pay special attention to the area where you will have surgery (but women should avoid the internal genital area because this may irritate the area).Wash armpits, navel, groin and external genital areas and any areas under skin folds.
  • Wait two minutes so the special soap can kill the germs and then rinse off with WARM water. Gently dry with a freshly washed towel.