Post operative blistering

What are the demands on a surgical dressing?

By : Mölnlycke Health Care, December 19 2011Posted in: Post operative blistering

Exudate Handling 

Mepilex Border offers optimum post-surgical fluid handling. A unique 5-layer design that effectively absorbs, distributes and retains.


Its high retention capacity minimises the risk of leakage and the need to change the dressing as often.


Pain Management

Wound pain at dressing change is known to be a devastating part living with a chronic
wound10. For acute wounds, such as surgical wounds, the number of dressing changes
are fewer however, despite this, pain at dressing change should be addressed11.
Consensus11 has been reached on the key principles on how to minimise pain at
dressing related procedures;
- Assume all wounds are painful
- Always assess pain
- Select a dressing that is atraumatic.

Safetac is a patented adhesive technology that minimises pain to patients and trauma to wounds. Safetac technology hurts less because it:
1) Tacks gently to dry surfaces, like skin, but not to moist surfaces, such as open wounds12
2) Moulds to the skin’s pores, covering more skin surface and spreading peel forces on removal to prevent skin stripping13
3) Seals the wound margins, minimising the spread of exudates and the risk of maceration14,15



  1. Postoperative wound blistering - Is there a link with dressing usage? WC vol 11 nu 7; S.K. Gupta et al, 2002.
  2. Eliminating Blister Formation in Post-operative Orthopedic Patients. Eliminating blister formation in post-operative adult orthopedic patients | CPIP Project Batch 18 | Copyright © 2008 National University Health System. Margaret Lee, 2008
  3. Prospective, randomised, controlled trial comparing wound dressings used in hip and knee surgery: Aquacel and Tegaderm versus Cultiplast. Ann R Coll Surg Engl 2006; 88: 1, 18-22. M.J. Ravenscroft et al, 2006
  4. Wound blisters post hip surgery: a Prospective trial comparing dressings. ANZ J Surg 2002, 72(10): 716–19. N. Lawrentschuk et al, 2002
  5. A one hospital study of the effect of wound dressings and other related factors on skin blistering following total hip and knee arthroplasty. J Orthopaedic Nurs 2000; 4: 2, 71-77. R. Jester, et al, 2000
  6. Choice of dressing has a major impact on blistering and healing outcomes in orthopaedic patients. J Wound Care 2005; 14: 1, 27-29. T. Cosker et al. 2005
  7. Addressing Post Surgical Wound Blistering. Poster Presentation at TVS Congress, UK. Sutton J et al 2011
  8. An investigation into the prevention of blistering in post-operative wounds. Poster presentation at the EWMA conference, Brussels, Belgium. K Ousey et al, 2011
  9. Preventing maceration with a soft silicone dressing: in-vitro evaluations. Poster presentation at the 3rd Congress of the WUWHS, Toronto, Canada, 2008: Wiberg AB et al.
  10. Price, P. et al. Dressing Related Pain in Patients with Chronic Wounds; an International Patient Perspective. International Wound Journal, 2008
  11. Price, P. et al. Managing painful chronic wounds: the Wound Pain Management Model. International Wound Journal, 2007
  12. White R. Evidence for atraumatic soft silicone wound dressing use. Wounds UK; 2005
  13. White R. A Multinational survey of the assessment of pain when removing dressings. Wounds UK, 2008
  14. White R. Evidence for atraumatic soft silicone wound dressing use. Wounds UK, 2005.
  15. Dykes PJ et al. Effects of adhesive dressings on the stratum corneum of the skin. Journal of Wound Care 2001
  16. Effect of dressing choice on outcomes after hip and knee arthroplasty: a literature review. J Wound Care  2009 Nov;18(11):449-50. Tustanowski J. 2009
  17. An assessment of a self-adherent, soft silicone dressing in post-operative wound care following hip and knee arthroplasty: Poster presentation at the EWMA conference Brussels, Belgium: Catharina Johansson et al; 2011
Share this

Preventing post operative blistering
Preventing post operative blistering

Preventing post operative blistering is a multi faceted issue however some of the following aspects may help to prevent...

Understanding and preventing wound blistering
Understanding and preventing wound blistering

Post-operative wound blistering can cause pain, discomfort and persistent wound leakage, and carries a risk of surgical site...