The patient should bathe the night before an elective operation.
Hair in the operative site should not be removed unless it
will interfere with the surgical procedure. Shaving can damage
the skin so clipping is better if hair removal is required;
it should be done in the operating room.
Just before the operation, wash the operation site and the
area surrounding it with soap and water. Prepare the skin with
antiseptic solution, starting in the centre and moving out
to the periphery (Figure 2.7). This area should be large enough
to include the entire incision and an adjacent working area,
so that you can manoeuvre during the operation without touching
unprepared skin. Chlorhexidine gluconate and iodine are preferable
to alcohol and are less irritating to the skin. The solution
should remain wet on the skin for at least two minutes.