A surgical face mask, also called a facial mask, is usually worn by medical professionals during surgical procedures. It is typically designed to prevent infection in patients, treating staff and patients by catching infections and shedding bacteria from the patient’s face and nose.
Surgical masks are generally used on patients undergoing any type of surgical procedure for the purpose of reducing or preventing the risk of infection. There are many types of masks that can be used during surgery, depending on what is being performed, including nasal cannulae (nasal air cannulae), suctioning (or aspiration) tubes, sterile face masks, sterile ear tubes, catheters, and other medical equipment. The type of surgical procedure being performed will determine the type of mask that is appropriate.
Surgical masks are normally worn during the first phase of surgery, known as preoperative care, which is usually performed under general anesthesia. During this stage, the physician will typically remove all foreign objects from the surgical site and will sterilize the surgical equipment using either autoclave or vacuum chamber devices.
After the medical procedure has been completed, the mask is removed, and the operating room is prepared. Surgeons may then place a disposable face mask or disposable nasal cannula on the patient’s face to reduce or prevent contamination of the surgical site.
Surgical masks come in various shapes and sizes. While some require the patient’s full attention at all times, others require minimal stimulation and can be quickly pulled over the patient’s face.
When wearing a face mask for surgery, it is important to ensure the mask fits tightly around the face, but not too tight that it is uncomfortable. If the mask does not fit properly, the wearer should adjust the position of his or her head and neck until the mask fits correctly. Also, the surgical site should be cleaned thoroughly prior to wearing the surgical face mask.
When cleaning the surgical site, it is important to wash all instruments and devices used during the procedure with antibacterial soap and water. The patient should also clean his or her hands prior to and after the procedure.
In addition to removing the surgical site from view, disposable nose strips or disposable ear plugs are often placed on the skin. These allow an observer to visually see the surgical site to ensure that it is clean. These nose strips or ear plugs are also placed over the patients’ nose and ears prior to the procedure. This allows the doctor to view the site before any surgery takes place and to make any changes or corrections if needed.
If the surgical site is to be viewed from the outside, disposable nose strips or disposable ear plugs can also be placed on the patient’s face. For the purposes of visual inspection of the surgical site, these nose strips and ear plugs should be taken off after the procedures are complete.