DERMATOLOGY CUTANEOUS SURGERY
Post Operative wound care advice
- All stitched wounds will have a dressing. We advise you to leave our dressings in place if possible until the stitches have been removed. After the stitches have been removed, we may apply strapping which should be left in place for a similar length of time. The newly healed wound takes several weeks to gain strength and care during this time will improve the final appearance of the scar. Sports and strenuous activities may stretch the scar and should be avoided for a few weeks.
- Please keep your wound dry for the first 48 hours. After which you may shower only, avoiding drying the area vigorously. DO NOT soak in the bath and avoid swimming until all of the stitches have been removed. Replace any wet/soggy dressings. Do not leave wet dressing on the wound.
- If you experience any pain or discomfort when the local anaesthetic has worn off, you can take paracetamol tablets, in manufacturers recommended doses. Please avoid taking aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs unless you are taking them for a medical condition, as they all have the potential to cause post-operative bleeding. Also avoid alcohol for 24 hours after surgery.
- If you notice any fresh bleeding through the dressing, please apply direct pressure over the wound site, using a pad of clean tissues or a clean handkerchief, for about 10 minutes. (Repeat if necessary). If the wound is on a limb elevate it, or if it is on the face/head take a couple of extra pillows for sleep and do not bend down. If this does not help then contact Dr Ali’s secretaries on the number above. (If there is excessive bleeding please contact your nearest A& E department).
- If you take aspirin or warfarin for a medical condition and you have stopped it for the operation. Please start taking them on the first day after the operation
- You should avoid vigorous and high impact exercises, sport and work. Bending, lifting heavy weights and over stretching the wound site may cause the wound to bleed or dehisce, leading to poor wound healing. New scars are easily damaged and care should be taken not to stretch them. Areas such as the back, shoulders, buttocks and legs should be protected with tape for up to four weeks. If the wound is on the head/face it is preferable not to wash the hair until the sutures are removed one week later, then to avoid excessive rubbing of the area for a further week.
- Occasionally wounds become infected. If the wound feels hot, sore, uncomfortable or discharge you should contact my secretaries or visit your GP surgery promptly as you may well need a course of oral antibiotics.
- Please make an appointment to see DrAli/Nurse to have your stitches out on the date shown on this sheet. Dr Ali will contact you with regard to your histology results in about 2-3 weeks.
- At the time of suture removal the wound strength is about 15% of normal skin. Wounds can easily dehisce particularly after suture removal. Please make sure not to stretch the wound/scar and avoid any shearing stress at the site. Scars can take up to a year to mature, therefore you should judge the cosmetic outcome of surgery after that period of time has elapsed.
- Scars can become lumpy and can overgrow. It is important to massage the scar regularly for 1 minute, 4 times a day using any moisturizer, (Diprobase, E45 or similar), for at least 6 months to 1 year. This will help soften/flatten the scar and will also help it to blend in with the surrounding skin.