Wound Care Instructions After Surgery
- You can resume bathing the next day. Re-start any medications that were stopped for surgery.
- Keep the pressure dressing in place for 24 / 48 hours.
- When it is time to remove the dressing, you can either take a shower to soak the dressing with water and remove it while in the shower (this is sometimes easier and causes less skin pulling) or you can gently lift one corner and remove the dressing while it is dry.
Follow the Next Steps Once/Twice Daily
- Cleanse the wound daily with Dove soap and water (allowing the water to gently wash over the area) Do not let shower water hit the wound directly.
- Dry the area with a Q-tip or dab it gently with your towel.
- Apply a thin coat of Vaseline/Bactroban to the wound with a clean finger or a Q-tip. DO NOT USE BACITRACIN OR NEOSPORIN.
- Cover the wound with a piece of non-stick gauze (Telfa for example). You may use paper tape to secure it in place if needed.
- It is important to keep the wound moist at all times. Do not let a scab or crust form.
- Do not use hydrogen peroxide on the wound unless specifically instructed to do so.
- In case of bleeding, DO NOT remove the bandage. Apply direct pressure for 20 minutes without peeking at the wound. If bleeding continues, apply pressure for another 20 minutes and call the doctor at the emergency number listed below or proceed to your nearest emergency room.
- If you develop fever, tenderness or foul smelling discharge from the wound, contact Dr. Mariwalla.
- If you experience any pain, you may take Tylenol or Tylenol Extra Strength tablets ONLY. Do not exceed the recommended dosage of this medication. If your pain seems out of the ordinary, please contact the number below.
- Take your antibiotics as directed for the full course.
- Until your stitches are removed, avoid exercise or heavy lifting or bending. Exercise and lifting produce unnecessary strain on the wound and can cause a complication such as wound opening or poor cosmetic result. This includes lifting loads of laundry or heavy pots of water. If your wound is on your chin or around your mouth, avoid eating chewy items such as bagels or steak and avoid straws.
- If your wound is healing on its own (i.e. without stitches), follow the instructions above. There are no restrictions on activity. You may notice a thin yellow film that begins to form. This is normal. If you notice irritation of the skin in the area of the bandage, you may leave the wound uncovered but continue to keep it moist with ointment. If the wound begins to have a lot of drainage, you may dab it once daily with hydrogen peroxide.
- If your wound is on your leg or foot, keep you leg elevated as much as possible including while you sleep. If you are going to be standing for prolonged periods of time, wrap the area with an ACE bandage. Do NOT sleep with an ACE bandage in place.