Abdominal compress

Abdominal compresses, also known as sterile abdominal dressings, are medical devices designed to cover and protect wounds in the abdominal region. Made from sterile material such as gauze, it absorbs wound exudates while preventing external contamination. Often used after abdominal surgery or to manage traumatic wounds, it promotes optimal healing by minimizing the risk of infection.


Dressing description

An abdominal compress, also known as a sterile abdominal compress or abdominal bandage, is a medical device used to cover, protect and provide support to a wound located in the abdominal region. It is specially designed to offer effective protection while minimizing the risk of infection and ensuring an optimal healing environment for the wound.


Abdominal compresses are generally made of a sterile material, such as gauze, which is folded in several layers to absorb wound exudates and provide a barrier against external contaminants. The compress can be held in place with a specific medical adhesive or elastic band to prevent it from shifting. The shape of the compress may vary according to the size and location of the wound.


Abdominal compresses are commonly used in a number of medical situations, including :

  • After abdominal surgery: They are often placed over the surgical scar to help absorb exudate, protect the wound and promote uncomplicated healing.
  • For open wounds in the abdominal region: Wounds such as abrasions, cuts or abrasions can be covered with an abdominal compress to prevent bacterial contamination and to absorb any fluid that may leak from the wound.
  • In the management of traumatic injuries: wounds to the abdomen, such as contusions, crush injuries or projectile shrapnel, can be covered with a compress to minimize the risk of infection and help reduce inflammation.
  • When draining an abdominal abscess: After draining an abscess or collection of pus in the abdominal region, an abdominal compress can be used to absorb exudate and keep the wound clean.


In short, an abdominal compress is an essential medical device for covering and protecting wounds in the abdominal region. It plays an important role in preventing infection, managing exudate and promoting an effective healing process. The use of sterile abdominal compresses is standard in many surgical and medical care procedures, contributing to the health and well-being of patients.


Use of the dressing

Materials required

  • A sterile abdominal compress of the appropriate size to cover the wound
  • Sterile gauze or clean cloth (optional)
  • Disposable gloves (optional, but recommended to maintain sterility)
  • An antiseptic solution (such as hydrogen peroxide or sterile saline) and sterile compresses (if necessary)
  • Medical tape or elastic bandage (if necessary)


Step 1: Preparation

  • Make sure your work area is clean and well-lit. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, or put on clean disposable gloves to minimize the risk of infection.


Step 2: Assess the wound

  • Examine the wound in the abdominal area to determine its size, depth and severity. Make sure there are no foreign objects in the wound.


Step 3: Clean the wound (if necessary)

  • If the wound needs cleaning, use an antiseptic solution to disinfect the area. Gently apply the solution to the wound with a sterile compress, starting from the center and working outwards. Gently dab to clean, then pat dry with a clean sterile compress.


Step 4: Choosing the abdominal pad

  • Select a sterile abdominal compress of the appropriate size to cover the wound completely. Make sure it is large enough to extend slightly beyond the edges of the wound.


Step 5: Applying the compress

  • Place the abdominal compress directly on the wound, making sure it is centered. The pad should cover the wound completely. Make sure the pad lies flat and does not wrinkle.


Step 6: Hold in place (if necessary)

  • If the compress tends to slip or move, you can hold it in place with medical tape or an elastic bandage. Be careful not to over-tighten, as the abdominal area is sensitive.


Step 7: Additional fixation (if necessary)

  • If the wound is large or deep, you can add sterile gauze or clean cloth to the abdominal compress to increase absorption and protection. Secure in place with medical tape.


Step 8: Check

  • Examine the wound and compress to make sure they're securely in place. Make sure the pad doesn't shift and that it covers the wound properly.


Step 9: Disposal

  • Dispose of all used equipment properly. Disposable gloves, compresses, antiseptic solution (if any), medical tape or elastic bandage (if any) must be disposed of safely and hygienically.


Applying an abdominal compress is a useful skill for covering and protecting wounds in the abdominal region. Monitor the wound regularly for signs of infection or complications. If the injury is serious, consult a healthcare professional.

Terms & Conditions

Please see our "Terms and Conditions" page for full details of our policies and legal liability.


Version 2023.