Post Surgery Instructions

Please read carefully after your surgery

  • Apply an ice pack over the bandage for 15 – 20 minutes before the anesthesia wears off. Then again 2 separate times for the first 24 hours after your surgery. This will decrease pain, swelling and bleeding.
  • Keep the area dry, still, and elevated (above the level of the heart) as much as possible for the first 48 hours. After 48 hours, you may shower. Apply a new bandage immediately afterwards (see # 3 below). Do not submerge the area in a bathtub, swimming pool, hot tub, or any bodies of water until after your sutures are removed or dissolved (usually 7-14 days).
  • Dress the wound once daily as directed below unless the doctor specifies otherwise. Follow these important steps to promote optimal healing with minimal discomfort and to prevent infection and crust formation:
    • After the pressure bandage from the Mohs surgery has been in place for 48 hours, remove the bandage, and then gently cleanse the area with soap and water.
      • You may have steri-strips in place. Steristrips are sterile pieces of medical tape used to close wounds and help the edges grow back together. Steristrips keep the wound clean and protected while it heals. Leave these on. They will fall off on their own.
    • Apply a thin layer of plain petrolatum / Vaseline and a non-stick bandage.
    • Repeat and rebandage daily for 7 – 10 days (remove bandage, cleanse, apply petrolatum, apply a non-stick bandage).
    • Continue this routine until you return for your suture removal appointment (or until sutures are dissolved, usually 7-14 days).
    • Do not shave near the site because the sutures may be cut.
    • It is normal after surgery to experience some discomfort, swelling and bleeding. If pain occurs, take Tylenol Extra Strength 500mg (acetaminophen) 1-2 tabs every 6 hours and Ibuprofen 200-400mg every 6 hours.[IN THE SETTING OF NORMAL LIVER AND KIDNEY FUNCTION]. If you notice any unusual fever, swelling, bruising, reddening, or discharge, please call the office at 941.907.0222.
  • It is normal to see small spotting of blood on the first bandage. If there is active bleeding, apply an ice pack over the bandage with constant pressure for 20 minutes to encourage clotting. If the bleeding persists, alert our office immediately at 941.907.0222.
  • The following is a list of things you should AVOID:
    • Avoid aspirin 2 days after surgery. Both promote bleeding.
    • Avoid alcoholic beverages 48 hours after surgery. It promotes bleeding.
    • Avoid stretching, bending or physical activity which could strain the wound. Such actions slow the healing process and increase the risk of bleeding.
    • Avoid swimming in the pool or any bodies of water, hot tub, using a spa, taking tub bath while the sutures are in place.
  • Scar tissue is pink 3 – 6 months, then usually fades to white. Sunlight exposure may cause skin to darken. The appearance of a surgery scar usually continues to improve for 6 – 12 months as the scar “matures”. The tissue around a surgical site may remain either firm or puffy for several months.
If you have any questions or concerns, please call our office at 941.907.0222 and we will be glad to assist you.

Wound Care Instructions