Are you having back pain with any of the following?

  • Severe pain, weakness or tingling in your leg(s).
  • Difficulty stopping urination or loss of control of bladder or bowels.
  • Unexplained fever, nausea or vomiting.
  • A history of cancer or unexplained weight loss.

We understand that you are experiencing one or more of the health issues that might be impacting your back pain.

We recommend that you discuss these health issues with your doctor before proceeding with this program.

Once you are cleared by your doctor to do this program, we hope it helps you find relief from your back pain.

Provider photo for Ninad Dabadghav

Ninad Dabadghav, MD

Surgery: General

Welcome to My Doctor Online, a web site that my colleagues and I developed to make it easier for you to take care of your healthcare needs. On this site you will find answers to many of your questions about my clinical practice. Also included are several online features that will allow you to e-mail me, check your laboratory results and refill prescriptions. I hope you find its content informative and useful.

My Offices

Santa Clara Homestead
Appt/Advice: 1-408-851-2000

See all office information »

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Overview

A wound is an injury that breaks your skin or other body tissues. Types of wounds include minor cuts and scrapes, surgical cuts (incisions), and open wounds.  

Good care is necessary to help a wound heal properly. Seek emergency medical care if your wound:

  • Is more than ¼ inch deep.
  • Continues to bleed after 10 minutes of firm pressure.
  • Feels numb or part of the body affected loses function.
  • Has major swelling.
  • Is a deep or dirty puncture, especially over your chest or abdomen. 

We also recommend that adults get a booster tetanus shot every 10 years.

Additional References:

Types of Wounds

There are several types of wounds. 

Minor cuts and scrapes. These wounds commonly occur at home. You may get a:

  • Cut (laceration) from stepping on broken glass or slicing your finger with a knife.  
  • Scrape (abrasion) from a rope or rug burn, or a skinned knee. 
  • Puncture wound from a nail or animal tooth.

Surgery wounds. During surgery, your skin is cut and closed with sutures (stitches), staples, or a special type of skin glue. 

Open wounds. This type of wound may be the result of injury, infection, or poor blood supply. Open wounds are not closed with sutures and heal more slowly.

Care of Minor Cuts and Scrapes

Take good care of your wound to help it heal quickly and protect it from further injury.  

For minor cuts and scrapes: 

  • Apply pressure to stop the bleeding. 
  • Clean the wound with water. 
  • Apply an antibiotic ointment or cream. 
  • Cover the wound with a bandage. 
  • Change the dressing once a day. 

Care of a Surgical Wound

During the first 2 days after surgery:

  • Apply an ice pack.
  • Take acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or prescribed pain pills to reduce soreness and swelling. 
  • Ask your doctor before using aspirin or products that contain aspirin.
  • Keep the area clean and dry. 
  • Remove the outer bandage after 2 days. 
  • Shower if you want, but avoid soaking the wound.

For the first 2 weeks: 

  • Avoid soaking underwater.
  • Do not remove Steri-Strips. They fall off on their own within 1 to 2 weeks.
  • Avoid activities that strain or put pressure on your incision. Use plain water to clean the wound.
  • Avoid using antibiotic ointments and creams and hydrogen peroxide.

Call us if you have signs of infection, such as:

  • Pus draining from wound 
  • Redness around incision 
  • Increased swelling or pain 

These are general guidelines. Ask your doctor for specific instructions about caring for your wound.

Care of an Open Wound

To care for an open or draining wound:

  • Keep the area clean. Use warm water and mild soap.
  • Apply a warm, wet towel for 20 minutes several times a day.
  • Do not let your wound dry out. 
  • Remove bandages and take a daily shower.
  • Apply antibiotic ointment. Reapply daily bandages to small wound.

For frequent dressing changes:

  • Remove bandages 2 to 3 times a day to clean wound. Shower and gently clean out all loose debris with a Q-tip or washcloth.
  • Moisten a piece of gauze with saline (salt water). Gently place the gauze into the deepest part of the wound.
  • Avoid packing tightly. Keep wound edges from touching.
  • Pack the wound with dry gauze if draining.
  • Use a sanitary pad to absorb excess drainage.

Ask your doctor for specific instructions when caring for your wound.

What to Expect With an Open Wound

If your wound is draining, the fluid may be clear, cloudy, pink, yellow, dark red, or brown. The drainage should gradually slow and become clearer.

A small amount of bleeding from the wound is normal.

Over time, your wound should shrink, with less discomfort and discharge. 

Contact us immediately if: 

  • Your wound produces a foul odor. 
  • You feel ill or develop a fever of 100.4°F or higher.
  • You have increased pain, swelling, redness, or drainage. 

Other Treatment for an Open Wound

We may recommend special healing methods for large open wounds.

Wound gel can be changed less often.  

  • Clean the wound. 
  • Apply a thin layer of gel on dry gauze. 
  • Place the gauze into the wound, with the gel directly on the affected tissue.

Negative pressure wound therapy (wound vac) uses a high-tech device to speed closure.

  • The wound is filled with foam or gauze.
  • A small tool (vacuum) is placed through the dressing.
  • The vacuum removes fluid from the wound with gentle suction.
  • The suction also draws the wound edges together.

We want you make sure you have the information you need to help your wound heal properly. Call us if you have any questions.

Signs of Infection

Seek immediate medical care for an infected wound. Signs include:

  • Increased pain, redness, swelling, tenderness, or drainage
  • Foul odor
  • Fever 100.4°F or higher

It’s normal for bacteria to live on skin. However, some types of bacteria cause infection and can:

  • Spread from person-to-person contact.
  • Live in the drainage of a wound.

Treat your wound as if it’s highly contagious to prevent spreading infection.

Some bacteria are too strong (resistant) for antibiotics. This makes treatment more difficult.

One type of antibiotic-resistant infection is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Like other skin infections, MRSA may cause: 

  • A sore that drains pus. 
  • A cluster of pimple-like bumps. 
  • Red, tender, or warm skin around the wound.

Overuse of antibiotics and antibacterial soaps: 

  • Changes the balance of bacteria on your skin.
  • Increases the risk of resistant infections.

Preventing Infection

The best way to prevent infection is to regularly wash your hands. 

Thoroughly wash your hands before and after you eat. Wash your hands after you: 

  • Blow your nose. 
  • Use the bathroom. 
  • Handle your wound or bandages.

Be sure to:

  • Wash towels, clothing and other items that come into contact with your wound in hot water.
  • Cover your wound if it is draining.

Bacteria can survive on the surfaces we touch. Regularly use alcohol to clean shared surfaces, such as doorknobs and handrails.

Resistant and contagious bacteria, such as MRSA, are becoming more common every year. It is important to protect your wound to:

  • Allow it to heal well. 
  • Prevent spreading infection to others.

Preventing Scars

To prevent obvious scars: 

  • Have your stitches removed when your doctor recommends. 
  • Leave butterfly tapes or Steri-Strips on as long as possible. They support the internal stitches and prevent skin edges from separating.
  • Use silicone creams and tapes that you can buy over-the-counter.
  • Treat your scar delicately for the first few months. Prevent infection, irritation, and trauma to your fresh scar to improve appearance.
  • Use sunscreen, UV-protective clothing, or a bandage to avoid sunburns. Sunburn in the first year can cause permanent discoloration of a scar.

Your Care with Me

If you are having symptoms that concern you, your first contact will typically be with your personal physician, who will evaluate your health and symptoms. If specialty care is needed, your personal physician will facilitate the process of scheduling an appointment in my department. If appropriate, she or he might call me or one of my colleagues while you are in the office so we can all discuss your care together. If we decide you need an appointment with me after that discussion, we can often schedule it the same day.

When You See Me

During your office visit, we will discuss your medical and family history and I will perform a physical exam. I will explain the findings of your exam and answer any questions or concerns you may have. We will discuss treatment options based on the findings.

Lab resources

We will also discuss the results of any tests ordered by your personal physician. If further tests are needed I will use our electronic medical record system to send the requisition to the Kaiser Permanente laboratory of your choice.

  • When the results are ready, you can view most of them online, along with any comments that I have attached to explain them.
  • If your results are normal, I will also send the results in the mail.
  • If they are outside the normal range, I will call you to discuss the results.
Pharmacy resources

If medications are warranted, I will prescribe them and work with you to minimize side effects. If refills are indicated in the future, you can order them online from my home page or by phone using the pharmacy refill number on your prescription label.

  • You can also arrange to have your refill mailed to you at no extra cost. If no refills remain when you place your order, the pharmacy will contact me regarding your prescription.
  • You can choose to pick up your medications at the pharmacy or have them delivered by mail at no extra cost.
After Visit Summary

At the end of our visit, you will receive a document called the After Visit Summary that will summarize the issues we discussed during your visit. You can also view it online from this site.  The online version is called Past Visits.

  • This summary includes my name and the date and time of your visit, your vital signs, my test orders and your medications or immunizations.
  • It often includes the instructions I have given you during our visit and follow-up information.
  • You can refer to your After Visit Summary if you forget what we discussed, or if you just want to recheck your vital signs and weight.
Coordinating your care

Having all of our Kaiser Permanente departments located together or nearby, including pharmacy, laboratory, radiology and health education, makes getting your care easier for you. Another major benefit is our comprehensive electronic medical record system in which all of the doctors and clinicians involved in your care can stay connected on your health status and collaborate with each other as appropriate. When every member of the health care team is aware of all aspects of your condition, care is safer and more effective.

Preparing for Surgery

If surgery is indicated, I will ask you to review an online educational program called Preparing for Your Procedure (Emmi). This online program is available on this site. It will help you decide whether surgery is right for you. It will also provide information about how to prepare and what to expect.

If we proceed with surgery, I will have my Surgery Scheduler contact you to determine a surgery date and provide you with additional instructions regarding your procedure. Once your surgery is scheduled, a medical colleague of mine will contact you to conduct a pre-operative medical evaluation that will assure that you are properly prepared for your surgery.

Contacting Me

If you need to talk with me after your visit or procedure, please call my office. You can also e-mail me with nonurgent issues from this website whenever it is convenient for you.

If you have urgent concerns or issues while my office is closed, or need general medical advice, you can call the Appointment and Advice line, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You will be connected with a nurse who can give you immediate advice.

If you are experiencing an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Room.

Related Health Tools:

Prepare for Your Procedure

See more Health Tools »

If you have an emergency medical condition, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. An emergency medical condition is any of the following: (1) a medical condition that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain) such that you could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in serious jeopardy to your health or body functions or organs; (2) active labor when there isn't enough time for safe transfer to a Plan hospital (or designated hospital) before delivery, or if transfer poses a threat to your (or your unborn child's) health and safety, or (3) a mental disorder that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity such that either you are an immediate danger to yourself or others, or you are not immediately able to provide for, or use, food, shelter, or clothing, due to the mental disorder.

This information is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of specific medical advice or care you receive from your physician or other health care professional. If you have persistent health problems, or if you have additional questions, please consult with your doctor. If you have questions or need more information about your medication, please speak to your pharmacist. Kaiser Permanente does not endorse the medications or products mentioned. Any trade names listed are for easy identification only.

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