The First Night
Depending on where your surgical site is, you may experience swelling, bruising and even slight drainage. We recommend that you ice the area 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. You can use a bag of frozen peas or an ice pack. Also, keep yourself elevated as much as possible to prevent discomfort.
Use Tylenol, Extra Strength Tylenol, Tylenol PM as directed for pain. Please refrain from using Ibuprofin, Aspirin or any of the following products for the first 24 hours – Aleve, Advil, Motrin, Excedrin. If you are on any of these medications per your physician please continue to take them as prescribed.
Bleeding is rare, but if it should occur apply firm, direct pressure to the site for no less than 15 minutes without easing up. If bleeding continues after 15 minutes please call the office or if after hours, please call 1-800-591-3376 (south region) or 941-955-0360 (north region) to speak to one of the providers. It may be necessary to go to the nearest emergency room.
After 48 Hours
**If you have had a graft placement – DO NOT REMOVE THE DRESSING, it will be removed for you at your next office visit, just leave it in place.
Change Dressing Daily by Following the Instructions
1. Remove the initial dressing placed post-surgery after 24 hours.
- Moistening the dressing with warm water will assist in removing the tape/bandage.
2. Cleanse the wound site gently with warm water and anti-bacterial soap.
- If there is a lot of crust/scab use warm soaks to soften.
3. Gently pat dry.
4. With a Q-tip apply a generous amount of Polysporin or Vaseline to the sutures/wound site.
- Please do not use Neosporin, (may cause an allergic reaction).
- If the area is close to your eye – use Lacri-lube instead of Polysporin.
5. Cover the site with a non-stick pad or a band-aid, the key is to be able to cover the incision/wound completely. You can also utilize paper tape to keep the non-stick pad in place.
6. Do the above wound care twice a day (morning/evening) until you come back for your first visit post-surgery.
- It is important that the incision/wound site stay covered and moist while healing. This will promote faster healing and you will minimize the chance for infection.
7. If you have been prescribed antibiotics, please continue taking them until they are gone.
Things to Avoid While Healing
1. Avoid strenuous lifting, stretching, straining and bending over during the first-week post-surgery. If you feel pulling or tension at the surgical site – stop what you are doing.
2. Cigarette smoking constricts blood vessels and it is recommended that you do not smoke during your healing time post-surgery.
For more aftercare information, download the following PDF files:
- How to Care for Your Skin Graft
- Wound Care Instructions for Biopsies
- Describing Skin Conditions
- Sunscreen Recommend
- Liquid Nitrogen Treatment (HTML) (PDF)
- Pre-Operation Instructions
- Treating AK with 5FU
- Electrodesiccation and Curettage Wound Care Instructions