Pre Op Body, Mouth and Nose Wash, why? - British Heart Fou...

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Pre Op Body, Mouth and Nose Wash, why?

Can someone tell me why we need to have the pre procedure anti bacterial mouthwash and nasal gel when we are having a loop recorder fitted? I understand the body wash because of where the procedure is happening but the mouthwash and nose gel don’t really make much sense to me? I’m also nervous about using chlorhexidine which I’m assuming that’s what it is

48 Replies

What medical qualifications do you have to in order to make the statement that they don't make much sense to you?

in reply to lateguitarist

I’m not claiming to have any medical qualifications and I don’t have any, I was simply asking a question

TRST profile image
TRST in reply to

And they would not make much sense to me either! I can understand with dental treatment but not otherwise.

You don't need medical qualifications to be welcome to ask a simple question on here 🙂

lateguitarist profile image
lateguitarist in reply to

Well it could have been construed that you were sort of questioning why it is done. As has been pointed out it is done to prevent infection, these procedures are not done for the sake of it, they are done for good reason. As I asked, why do you think it does not make any sense, you must have some reason for questioning a procedure that has been adopted for your safety? I think you just need to put your trust in the guys that know what they are doing?

in reply to lateguitarist

It’s alright, thanks for reminding me why I never ask questions on the internet anymore :) thought this was supposed to be a place for support but apparently you can’t even ask a simple question without getting snooty responses so I think this will be the last time I come here. Cheers :)

TRST profile image
TRST in reply to

Well you've only been here a month and you've been scared off already - I'm sorry about that and it's not good enough! Ignore the snooty ones and be encouraged by the rest of us 🙂.

I would have thought it strange to have the mouthwash and nose gel. I don't trust anyone to 'get things right' and always double check. Sometimes procedures are put in place as a 'generality' and don't apply to each and every case.

You brought up a worthwhile question, I thought.

Heed1961l profile image
Heed1961l in reply to

It's a shame that you felt the need to leave. I"m lucky I don't need to ask questions, but if I did, I can understand someone's reluctance.It begs the question of what the point of the forum is. You're a lot politer than I would be.

Tay99 profile image
Tay99 in reply to

Hi there isn't it a pity that you can't ask a simple question or get some reassurance without someone always having to be nasty honestly as if having any sort of procedure isn't stressfull enough some people just can't help themselves take care

paw1 profile image
paw1 in reply to

Please do not be put off. I do hope this group can be viewed as an informative, warm, safe, welcoming and encouraging place for those of us who feel sometimes unsure.

MDR1 profile image
MDR1 in reply to

What a shame! It's people like lateguitarist who need to leave, not people like you, who this forum is meant to be for.

She was just wondering !!! No need to be so aggressive with your comment. I also would ask why.

MDR1 profile image
MDR1 in reply to lateguitarist

What a ridiculous response!! Hopeandheart is simply asking for an explanation, not contradicting medical advise.

Harsh response. None of us have any medical experience which is why we are here. Hopefully somebody WILL know and be able to put this persons mind at rest.

Exie8 profile image
Exie8 in reply to Becksagogo

Some of us do have medical experience though not necessarily in cardiology.

What a horrible reply to someone who is worried about something!

I've think Hidden was just trying to understand why and wasn't questioning medical decisions. It's true " doesn't make sense" sounded as if Hidden thought it wasn't a good idea but I don't think he/she ( why Hidden🤔) meant that ?Stay safe x

Heed1961l profile image
Heed1961l in reply to Lilypocket

Hi, it's my understanding that when a member closes the account, the username defaults to Hidden. If you click on the profile for Hidden it explains as such. Unfortunately she probably hasn't seen the subsequent responses, which is a shame.

Lilypocket profile image
Lilypocket in reply to Heed1961l

Thanks for explaining 😊 I often wondered. X

It treats MRSA so to prevent infection. Good evidence if done properly as instructed It Works!

Correct. Too bad this poster was not given that information before getting shot down that was awful


Hi. As a guess, I would say it is to eliminate Bacteria/Germs entering your Body when inserting the Loop Recorder. Other than that, they could possibly want to rule any Covid Symptoms out! Bear in mind though, I am not 'Medically Qualified' at all!

As stated above, it eliminates MRSA. These bacteria live on your skin, inside your nasal cavity etc and if they enter an open wound would be very dangerous. Hence the treatment.

My Neice had to do that after her pre op swab showed she had MRSA but this was a few years ago



I was told it was to prevent mrsa when inserting the breathing tubes for the operation. That gel is a horrible taste, yuk

Research at Wrightington hospital where they developed the first artificial joints clearly shows that this regimen reduces the risk of post operative infection quite dramatically. It works in two ways. For those of us who normally practice good hygiene it helps but for those who don’t it means they have few days of proper washing.

Don’t about the chlorhexidine. It’s most irritating side effect is that it stains teeth if you don’t brush thoroughly first.

I well remember waking up in HDU and one of the first things I noted was that the sheets were pink! I was told the body wash / mouthwash / nasal gel was to eliminate MRSA. Certainly made sense to me.

Please don't be put off this site by lateguitarists obvious anger issues...its a helpful site and actually helps and reassures many people...😊

Dolphin14 profile image
Dolphin14 in reply to Dj1962

I don't come on here too often. I wished I hadn't today. That was such an unkind thing to do to someone :(


Hi Dolphin. I don't come on here often either and Replies like Late Guitarist's are Aggresive, Abusive and Totally Out of Order and makes me think what is the point of Posting if you are just going to get intimidated!! :(

Agree 100%. It's a shame really. A legitimate question that so many had the answer for and the poster gets a very rude reply.

I felt the emotion in the pit of my stomach.

Take care of you.


Yes I did too. I thought it was disgusting. Where are the Admin here though that's what I'm thinking as well and, yes, it is a shame! Thank you 😊💓

I hope the poster will think of coming back. This is a great site loaded with such knowledgeable people. Prepping for open heart surgery is a scary thing. The support pre and post surgery would have been so helpful.

We can only hope that they find a place they feel

Comfortable to ask questions.


Milkfairy profile image
MilkfairyHeart Star in reply to MusicLover4Ever

If you are concerned about the content of a comment you can report the person who made it to admin.

Unfortunately Admin are only around 9 to 5 during the week.

Those of us who are Heart stars are not moderators, we can only report inappropriate behaviour.

Which we do.

We also get personal abuse from a minority of forum members as well.

TRST profile image
TRST in reply to Milkfairy

Milkfairy - What constitutes inappropriate behaviour?

Milkfairy profile image
MilkfairyHeart Star in reply to TRST

Anything that is not in keeping with the ethos and guidelines of the forum.


Had open heart surgery, you have to see the dentist before surgery. I was told there is more germs in the mouth than on the whole of the rest of the body. Again before surgery had swabs taken from all orifices! MRSA.

Hope that helps.


I asked my anesthesiatst about this, he said it's because the mouth and nose harbour little nastys, and people who used clorohexadine wound up with fewer infections, so I duly submitted. And when discharged had a tube of corsadill in my ratting magic bag of wellness.

Just another example of the care new cross cardiology department take, and a large bottle of hibyscrub for my wife, because she keeps hens just incase she had a unwanted passenger.

As I wanted every possible advantage and the smallest possible chance of infections I dutifully used it three times a day for 9 weeks after going home.

I did not bother buying more when it ran out as my scar was nicely settled.

Alison_L profile image
Alison_L in reply to Rogo23

Good grief, that sounds like excellent above and beyond service, and consideration, from the hospital. Pleased all went well.

Rogo23 profile image
Rogo23 in reply to Alison_L

I cannot praise Mr Resienio and his team enough. I have a mild shellfish allergy, the anesthesiatst spent 50 minutes discussing this with me,because the drug used to counteract the potassium used to stop the heart is derived from a fish product.

I understand that before my chest was even touched they ran a test to make sure that the was absolutely no chance of any reaction.

My wife sent thank you cards for the team and the two wards I was on, Mr R sent my wife a thank you.

Above and beyond doesn't come close.

And I will always be in debt to them.

MRSA prevention. Nose and throat can harbour the bacteria. It’s used as a preventative measure and I am medically trained. I hope this answers your question . Please feel free to ask questions of the group and just ignore those who are rude.

I would have wondered too. MRSA makes sense

It’s not just for MRSA but any staphylococcus that might be lurking there and get into a wound. Yours or someone else’s. Good practice for infection control. Seemed like a reasonable question to me. 🙂

Hello Hidden. I can only assume the nose and mouth antibacterials are in place because of Covid and flu! My husband had his operation before this damned pandemic and had the hospital's body wash (I had to take home the shower gel I'd packed for him). I also packed Listerine mouthwash but that was banned too. He had hospital antibacterial nose spray.

I would imagine they know what they're doing. If you have any concerns ref the components of hospital stuff, make sure they know.

Good luck! Jan xxxx

It's infection control, but it does depend on the hospital. I had the same rigmarole to do as you before an eye operation, but when I went back for a follow up procedure it wasn't mentioned (I did it anyway). Before my pacemaker and ablation procedures in a different hospital I was just swabbed (nose and groin) to check for mrsa it came back ok so no action was taken.

As there is strong link to dental issues and heart problems I'm assuming it is an added precaution. As throat and nasel passages linked both mouth and nasel done together to try and reduce any infection risk. Don't be afraid to ask at assassments.

Take care and best of luck.

A civil question deserves a civil answer. Mouth and nose can be colonised by staphylococcus and other bacteria which are best eliminated before any surgical procedure, especially one involving heart and circulation to avoid risk of sepsis. That's it!

My fiancé only had to use the body wash before his CABG (no nose spray or mouth wash etc - although this was just before Covid) he was swapped for MRSA though.

He was told to have a dental check up and scale and polish, but then ended up having the surgery at short notice due to worsening of his condition. He didn’t get his check up or teeth clean before the surgery and when I asked the surgeon if it’d be ok he said “it’ll be fine, we aren’t too fussed by that nowadays!” He said it was “more important” if your having surgery on the heart valves then a bypass.

Not suggesting anyone goes against this advice of course, just telling his story!

I just had to have a shower before my l.L.R. That was it but l was completely covered up up including my head. The same when l had a pacemaker implanted.

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