Wound Care After Surgery

Here are instructions regarding your care. Your adherence to these will help with the recovery process. Should you need further advice or instructions please call our office night or day. If after hours, our answering service will put you in contact with one of our on-call Providers.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at 216-844-8200 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mann at the University Hospitals at Westlake.

1. Avoid aspirin or alcohol for 48 hours as these increase your risk of bleeding. Take Tylenol for pain every 4-6 hrs as needed. If you have significant pain, please call our office. It may be helpful to apply ice (an ice pack or a package of frozen veggie wrapped in a towel) for 10 minutes every 1-2 hours until you go to bed. This helps to minimize pain, swelling, and bruising following the procedure.

2. Keep pressure dressing clean and dry for 24-48 hours. After that time, you may get your wound wet. Whenever the wound gets wet, the dressing should be changed. Pool and lake water are sources of infection and should be avoided until stitches are removed or, if you do not have stitches, until the wound has healed.

3. After the pressure dressing is removed, do the following two times daily until the wound heals or until your stitches have been removed:

  • Gently cleanse the wound with mild soap and water to remove any crusting and scabs. Make sure that soap is rinsed off well as they may irritate the wound site and inhibit healing.
  • Apply a layer of Vaseline white petroleum with a Q-tip.
  • Cover the wound with a small dressing or band-aid. Keep the wound covered on a daily basis until it is healed. Studies show that wounds heal better when kept moist and covered with ointment and a dressing to avoid forming a scab.

 

FOR PATIENTS WITH STERI-STRIPS:

  • If steri-strips were placed, You will have two layer of dressing: an outer pressure dressing of white gauze and tape and an inner dressing of steri-strips.
  • Once you have removed the outer dressing, you may shower and get the wound wet.
  • Pat the area dry after you shower.
  • It is not necessary to apply another bandage over the strips, but you may apply a light gauze bandage for protection or comfort if you wish.
  • Do not apply antibiotic ointment as this will cause the strips to fall off.
  • Do not remove the steri-strips, they will fall off on their own in 7-10 days. If the steri-strips begin to lift, trim the edges with scissors. Do not pull the steri-strips off until instructed by the doctor.

4. If stitches were placed, avoid exercise which would put stress on them. Excessive trauma or physician activity may cause the wound to begin bleeding the first few days after surgery.

5. Please keep your follow-up appointment to have your sutures removed or for a wound check.

 

BLEEDING:

A small amount of blood on your bandage the first dressing change is normal. If you have heavier bleeding, you should follow these steps:

1. Sit or lie down and remove the outer bandages

2. Using a clean gauze, apply firm uninterrupted pressure to the wound for 20 minutes—do not release.  You may be tempted to see if bleeding has stopped, but if you do not hold for the recommended time, the bleeding may begin again.

If bleeding has not stopped at this time, repeat the procedure once or twice if necessary.  In the rare event that bleeding still continues, call our office or go to the nearest emergency room for assistance.


Dermatologic Surgery and Aesthetic Dermatology

440-250-2450 | Offices in Westlake and Cleveland, Ohio

Dermatologic Surgeon Dr. Margaret Mann M.D., and Dermatologist Dr. Daniel Popkin, serving Westlake, Bay Village, Brunswick, Cleveland, Avon, Avon Lake, North Olmstead, Strongsville, and the surrounding Northeast Ohio area.