Please read the following instructions to assure proper healing and optimal cosmetic outcome.
DAY 1-2: FIRST 48 HOURS FOLLOWING SURGERY
- Please keep the pressure dressing dry and intact for approximately 48 hours (or 2 days).
- Elevate: Slightly elevate the involved surgical site to decrease pain and swelling.
- Ace bandage (if applied): You may loosen the Ace bandage at night. Continue using the Ace bandage during the day.
DAY 3: AFTER THE FIRST 48 HOURS FOLLOWING SURGERY
- Remove the outer pressure dressing
- Wash wound with soap (or shampoo) & water or clean with hydrogen peroxide.
- Gently pat the wound dry with a clean washcloth/towel.
- Apply bland ointment (Vaseline or Aquaphor) and re-bandage.
- Repeat daily or twice daily until sutures are removed.
** Special circumstances:
- Steri-Strips: If placed over the sutures, please leave steri-strips in place. You can shower normally then pat the area dry. There is no need to apply ointment. Steri-strips will be removed at suture removal. If steri-strips fall off before, you can follow steps 2-5 above.
- Skin grafts: If placed, please leave the yellow bolster intact.
- Granulating wounds (wounds not repaired): There may be dry crusty blood after you remove the pressure bandage. Do not be alarmed. This is NORMAL. Follow steps 2-5 above.
- Pain is to be expected during the first 2 days and should improve on day 3.
- Take Extra-Strength Tylenol (500-1000mg) every 6-8 hours as needed for pain.
- Please note that the max dose of acetaminophen (Tylenol) is 3000mg in 24 hours.
- Avoid aspirin (Bayer/Excedrin), ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve), unless otherwise instructed. These can increase your risk of bleeding.
- A little pink/redness around the surgical site occurs as part of the normal healing process.
- Please avoid alcohol for 48 hours after surgery as this can increase your risk of bleeding.
- Please avoid any athletic activity for 72 hours after surgery to avoid bleeding.
- For optimal cosmetic results, avoid any stretching or pulling of the surgical site.
PLEASE CALL OUR OFFICE IMMEDIATELY FOR:
- BLEEDING: Your highest risk is the first 48 hours. If you note bleeding, place steady, firm pressure over the bandage for 20-30 minutes. If bleeding continues, please call us.
- INFECTION: Signs include redness, swelling, warmth, tenderness, increased pain, or pus.
- DEHISCENCE: This occurs when the wound opens up, usually due to bleeding or infection.
SCAR REVISION AND COSMETIC IMPROVEMENT:
- Nearly all scars improve with time. Please be patient.
- Lasers, dermabrasion, and other options are available. Please ask about options.