Glue Stitch or Rapid Absorbing Suture Wound Care
Hydrogen peroxide, cotton applicators or Q-tips, ½ inch or 1-inch paper tape, nonstick dressing pads (example–telfa), and Vaseline.
The pressure dressing we apply after surgery should remain in place for 24 hours. If the dressing comes loose before then, re-tape it carefully. After 24 hours, remove the pressure dressing but leave the white tape directly over the incision. As long as the tape remains in place, no wound care or dressing is necessary.
Do not wet the pressure dressing for 24 hours. After that, you may shower but do not let the forceful stream of the shower hit the wound directly. If the tape comes off, perform your wound care as directed below for one week.
If the tape comes off, perform wound care as follows. The incision line should be cleansed twice daily with ½ strength hydrogen peroxide mix half and half with tap water. Let the moisture bubble away loose crusts and drainage. You may gently loosen these crusts with a Q-tip and pat dry. For stubborn crusting, place gauze wet with peroxide over the wound for 15 minutes to soak and loosen the debris. The first day the wound may be tender and may bleed slightly or seep a small amount of clear fluid.
After cleansing the wound, apply a thin layer of Vaseline over the incision. You may leave the wound uncovered if you will be home and the wound will stay clean. Be sure to keep the wound edges moist by applying Vaseline several times a day. Otherwise, cover the wound with a nonstick dressing cut to the appropriate size. Tape the dressing in place with paper tape.
Glue Stitch or rapid absorbing sutures have been used for the top layer of your repair. You do not have sutures that need to be removed. One week after surgery, remove the white paper tape that is covering your incision. You can gently pull on the edge of the tape and it should lift off the incision easily. If it does not lift off easily, apply a warm compress over the area for approximately 15 minutes, before removing the tape. If rapid absorbing sutures were used you may see clear, fine sutures on the skin surface. If you still see sutures, gently clean the suture line twice daily with half-strength peroxide and they will dissolve. If the tape over the sutures comes off sooner than 1 week, refer to the instructions given above for wound care.
Once the tape has been removed, you should see that your incision site is healing well. You can expect there to be slightly pink discoloration and swelling of the incision line. The color of the incision line should slowly fade over the next few weeks. This is all a normal part of the healing process. You do not need to keep the area covered from that point forward. You may resume normal activities at this point as well. Scar massage may be discussed with you either at the time of surgery or at the time of suture removal. Scar massage can be started 6 weeks after surgery and would be continued for 12 weeks (weeks 6-18 following surgery). Scar massage is performed by applying firm pressure using your fingertip, moving in a circular motion up and down the incision line for 5-10 minutes continually per day. Please call our office if you have any difficulty with the above instructions or if you notice any problems with the incision line.
You will not be scheduled for a follow-up visit for a few months. We will assume that the incision is healing well if we do not hear from you. Please do not hesitate to call us if you have any questions or concerns regarding your incision site.
Careful attention has been given to your wound to prevent bleeding. The initial dressing you have on is a pressure dressing to also help prevent bleeding.
You may notice a small amount of blood on the edges of the dressing the first day and this is normal. If bleeding is persistent and soils the dressing, apply firm, steady pressure over the dressing with gauze for 20 minutes. If bleeding continues, hold pressure for an additional 20 minutes. If bleeding persists, call the doctor or go to the nearest Emergency Room while continuing to hold pressure on the wound. Marked swelling at the surgical site may indicate blood accumulation and the doctor should be notified.
Post-operative pain is usually minimal. Plain Tylenol, Extra Strength Tylenol, or Advil usually relieves any pain you may have (please take these according to package directions or as directed by your primary care physician). To minimize pain, swelling, and bruising apply an ice pack (or bag of frozen vegetables) over the dressing, you may do this for 15-20 minutes every hour as needed for symptoms.
There may be swelling and bruising around the wound, especially if near the eyes. The area may feel firm and swollen (but will gradually soften and return to normal appearance over time). The suture line may appear bright pink to purple and the edges of the wound may be reddened. This will lighten day by day. Slight tenderness to touch is normal. If the wound develops increasing pain, redness, heat, swelling or pus-like drainage, call the office. Those are signs of infection.
As your surgical site heals, you may have occasional sharp brief pains. Itching is common but if severe and associated with a rash, please call. Numbness may be present but slowly fades away over several months.
DO NOT TAKE ANY MEDICATION CONTAINING ASPIRIN OR DRINK ALCOHOL 3 DAYS AFTER SURGERY (unless otherwise instructed). Continue to take all other prescribed medication.
- Never place a used applicator back into the hydrogen peroxide.
- If the wound site is near the eye, saline eyewash (example-Dacriose) may be used on an applicator to clean the corner of the eye and eyelids.
- Make sure you clean your scissors with alcohol before each dressing change.
- You may have a low-grade fever (99-100 F) for which Tylenol may be used.
- You may have some clear drainage from the wound. This will stop after a few days. If not, please call the office.
- It is a MYTH that wounds heal better with a scab. If a scab begins to form soak the wound with hydrogen peroxide and gauze for 15 minutes and gently rub it away with a Q-tip.
IF THERE ARE ANY QUESTIONS, PLEASE CALL OUR OFFICE AT (828)274-4880, MONDAY-FRIDAY (8 AM TO 5 PM).
ON WEEKENDS OR EVENINGS, PLEASE CALL (828)259-5008.