Post Surgery Instructions                                Back to Dermatologic Surgery Page

 

The importance of postoperative care to your surgical site cannot be overstressed. The care you take of yourself and your wound is extremely important to the success of the procedure and to your recovery and well being. 

 

Wound Care Instructions

  • Bandage applied immediately after surgery is to be kept dry for 2 days

  • After 2 days remove bandage with clean/washed hands

  • The wound should be gently cleansed with a mild cleanser

  • If steri-strips are present leave in place until they fall off on their own

  • Dry wound by gently patting it dry

  • Apply a generous amount of Vaseline, Aquaphor, or Polysporin to the wound

  • Cover with a bandage unless at home

  • Refer to the post operative instructions provided to you at your surgery appointment for Special Instructions including whether the clinician recommended limited activities for a period of time or if antibiotics were prescribed

 

  • BLEEDING: Bleeding can occur following surgery. To reduce the possibility of bleeding follow these instructions:

    • Limit activities for at least 24 hours

    • Keep operative site elevated, if appropriate

    • If site is on the head, face, or neck:

      • Avoid stooping or bending and sleep with your head and shoulders elevated on extra pillows.  If bleeding does occur, apply firm constant pressure over the bandage for 20 minutes. This usually stops minor bleeding.  Repeat if necessary. 

  • SWELLING: Swelling occurs because surgery has caused a wound and your body reacts to that injury.  To reduce the amount of swelling that may occur:

    • Apply an ice pack wrapped in a thin towel for 20 minutes each hour during the waking hours for the first 24 hours

    • Keep bandage dry

  • PAIN: Postoperative pain is generally slight and minimal. You can take over the counter Extra Strength Tylenol as directed on the package for any pain or discomfort you may experience. 

  • INFECTION: Infection seldom occurs when the wound care instructions are followed carefully and correctly. Signs of infection may include: increased pain or tenderness, redness, swelling, warmth at the site, and yellow to green discharge. 

 

NOTIFY OFFICE IMMEDIATELY if bleeding occurs that will not stop despite pressure or if signs of infection occur. If occurs after hours please go to the nearest Urgent Care Center or Emergency Room.