Instructions following minor skin surgery
After your surgery, a dressing will usually be placed over the operation site.
This will help to prevent bleeding.
Please follow these instructions over the next 7 to 14 days.
They will help prevent complications as your wound heals.
For the first 24- 36 hours after your surgery
1.Leave the dressing on and keep it dry. If it becomes loose, you may re-tape it, but do not take it off.
2.Relax and take it easy. Please do not undertake vigorous exercise or heavy lifting, it will take 3 – 4 weeks for the strength of the wound to be back to normal. Excessive activity may cause the wound to bleed or if the wound has been stitched it may split open.
3. If you require any pain relief following surgery please take 2 Paracetamol (500mg tablets) every 6 hours as needed. This can be started as soon as you get home.
Do not take aspirin or any drugs such as ibuprofen for pain relief as they are more likely to make you bleed. Some patients will have been prescribed oral antibiotics if this is the case these should normally be started as soon as possible after the procedure.
4. You may see a small amount of blood on your dressing. This is normal.
However, if the bleeding continues and saturates the dressing, please do as follows:
• Apply firm pressure with a gauze swab over the bandage for 15 minutes
• If bleeding still continues, apply an ice pack for 15 minutes to the bandaged area.
• A simple ice pack can be made from placing a bag of frozen peas into a dry plastic bag; this avoids wetting the bandage.
• If bleeding still continues go to the nearest Accident and Emergency Department.
24 – 36 hours after your surgery
1. Carefully remove the dressing. If it seems very sticky or difficult to get off, you may need to soak
it off in the shower. Do not soak the wound in the bath or go swimming.
2. After the bandage is off, you may shower and get the wound wet. However, do not let the
forceful stream of the shower hit the wound directly.
3. Follow these simple wound care and dressing change instructions:
Once a day, clean the wound gently with soapy warm water. (You can use a cotton bud if you wish).
• Pat the wound dry. Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly (or antibiotic ointment if supplied) to cover the wound
• Cover the wound with a plaster.
• Repeat this every day until you have your stitches removed.
• The Petroleum jelly/vaseline can be continued to be applied to the biopsy site long term.
What is normal?
1.The first couple of days your wound may be tender and may bleed slightly when doing wound care.
2.There may be swelling and bruising around the wound, especially if it is near the eyes.
3.The area around your wound may be numb for several weeks or even months.
4.You may experience periodic sharp pain as the wound heals.
5.The stitch line will look dark pink at first and the edges of the wound will be reddened.
The redness will fade gradually.
Seek medical advice if:
1.You have bleeding that will not stop after applying pressure and ice.
2.You have excessive pain.
3.You have signs or symptoms of an infection such as fever, or redness, warmth or discharge from the wound. If you think there is an infection you must seek medical advice either from me (020-3282-0011), your general practitioner or outside normal working hours your local accident and emergency department.