Shoulder Clinic

Shoulder Replacement & Your Dressings

How to Manage Your Shoulder Replacement Dressings

In the operating theatre at the end of your shoulder replacement surgery, for either an anatomic or a reverse shoulder replacement, we place two dressings over your skin incision. The first dressing is a prineo dressing that is placed directly onto the incision. Over the prineo dressing, we place a second dressing which is usually a honeycomb dressing. The two dressings are positioned separately so that the top, honeycomb, dressing can be removed without disturbing the prineo dressing underneath.

After your surgery at approximately 7 days after the operation, I suggest that you remove the top, honeycomb, dressing. The prineo dressing can be left in place until it starts to fall off, at which time it can be removed.

Both dressings are waterproof. You can shower with the honeycomb dressing in place, and once it is removed, you can shower with the prineo dressing in place. It is okay for both of the dressings to be wet in the shower.

This video demonstrates the removal of the honeycomb dressing leaving the underlying prineo dressing intact.

Note the extensive bruising down the arm. This bruising is common and is due to blood tracking, under the influence of gravity, from the wound through the subcutaneous tissues. Bruising like this is common after any shoulder operation and goes away, on its own, within a few weeks without anything needing to be done.

Prineo is an expensive occlusive dressing that is applied directly to the wound incision sealing it. The prineo dressing has two advantages. Firstly, it is occlusive and seals the incision from external bacteria that might cause an infection. Secondly, it adds to the strength of the wound closure. Wounds closed with prineo alone are at least 30% stronger than those closed with sutures. Your wound has been closed with subcuticular monocryl sutures, and then the prineo dressing is added to seal the skin incision. The prineo dressing is manufactured by Johnson & Johnson; more information can be found at J&JMedicalDevices.

The Opsite honeycomb dressing is made by Smith and Nephew and has the advantage that the wound can be seen through the dressing allowing the wound to be easily assessed. The dressing is low allergenic. More information regarding the honeycomb dressing can be found at Smith&NephewHealthcare.

You don’t have any sutures to be removed. The monocryl sutures used to close the skin incision are placed subcuticular, below the skin, and will dissolve of their own accord.

A big thanks to our star patient who had a reverse total shoulder replacement one week before this video was made. Thank you for making this video with me!