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Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service

Cranial vault surgery wound care fact sheet

Cranial vault surgery wound care

Your child has recently had cranial vault surgery and is ready for discharge home. This fact sheet contains important information on caring for your child post-surgery in particular the incision along their scalp which requires your special care and attention.

Follow-up appointments

Your child will be reviewed by a doctor in a clinic approximately one week after discharge from hospital. Your child may need to be seen more than once in the clinic. You will be informed of the time and location of these appointments.

Your child will be seen again by a surgeon approximately six to eight weeks after the surgery.

Caring for the wound

It is important to keep your child’s hair and the incision free from scabbing and crusting. Wash your child’s head daily to reduce the risk of infection and wound breakdown. You can do this by:

  • Gently wash the hair and incision with baby shampoo
  • Pat dry with a towel.
  • Apply paraffin (Vaseline) along the incision site using a clean cotton bud. Note: paraffin should be applied twice daily

Important – Your child should not swim for swim for six weeks after the operation. Swimming in a pool, creek or river significantly increases the risk of wound infection

Signs of infection

If you notice any of the following signs:

  • Change in temperature
  • Redness around the wound
  • Increased pain at the site of the wound
  • Any pus or ooze from the wound

Please contact the Clinical Nurse for Cleft and Craniofacial Surgery.

Contact us

Clinical nurse, Cleft and Craniofacial Surgery
Queensland Children’s Hospital
501 Stanley Street, South Brisbane 4101
t: 07 3068 4321 (business hours)
t: 07 3068 1111 (general enquiries – ask for plastic surgery registrar on call)

In an emergency, always call 000.

If it’s not an emergency but you have any concerns, contact 13 Health (13 43 2584). Qualified staff will give you advice on who to talk to and how quickly you should do it. You can phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Resource No: FS114. Developed by the Neurosurgery, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Department. Updated: May 2016. All information contained in this sheet has been supplied by qualified professionals as a guideline for care only. Seek medical advice, as appropriate, for concerns regarding your child’s health.