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Model Forms, Consent, Pre-Operative, Post-Operative

Wound Care Instructions Following Minor Surgery

After your surgery, a pressure may be placed over the area that has stitches. This will prevent bleeding. Please follow these instructions over the next 7 to 14 days. They will help prevent any complications as your wound heals.

NB: Longer time if wound is large or patient ‘dozy’ during procedure.

For the First 24 or 48 Hours After Your Surgery

  • Leave the pressure bandage on and keep it dry. If it should come loose, you may retape it, but do not take it off.
  • Relax and take it easy. No vigorous exercise or heavy lifting or alcohol. This could cause the wound to bleed.
  • Post-operative pain is usually mild. You may take paracetamol, t 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 Nurofen.
  • You may see a small amount of drainage or blood on your pressure bandage. This is normal. However, if the drainage or bleeding continues and saturates the bandage, 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. Placing a bag of frozen peas into a dry plastic bag can make a simple ice pack. This avoids wetting the bandage.
    • If bleeding still continues, call our department during office hours or go to the nearest casualty department.

48 Hours After Your Surgery (If you are not attending the department)

  • Carefully remove the pressure bandage. If it seems very sticky or difficult to get off, you may need to soak it off in the shower.
  • After the pressure bandage has been removed, you may shower and get the wound wet. However, do not let the forceful stream of the shower hit the wound directly.
  • Follow these simple wound care and dressing change instructions:
    • Once a day, clean the stitch line by wetting a Q-tip/cotton bud with 3% hydrogen peroxide. Then gently roll it along the line of the wound. The hydrogen peroxide will help loosen any crust. Do not worry about the ‘frothing’ whilst cleaning.
    • Take a dry Q-tip/cotton bud and gently roll it along the stitch line. This will help to remove any crust or drainage.
    • Apply a thin layer of the ointment provided over the stitch line with a Q-tip/cotton bud. Be sure to cover its length totally.
    • Cover the stitch line with a Telfa (non-stick) dressing. You may tape a piece of gauze over the Telfa for extra protection if you wish.
    • Continue this wound care process every day until you return to have your stitches removed in clinic.

What is Normal?

  • The first couple of days your wound may be tender and may bleed slightly when doing wound care.
  • There may be swelling and bruising around the wound, especially if it is near the eyes.
  • The area around your wound may be numb for several weeks or even months.
  • You may experience periodic sharp pain as the wound heals.
  • The stitch line will look dark pink at first and the edges of the wound will be reddened. This will lighten day by day.

Call Us If

  • You have bleeding that will not stop after applying pressure and ice.
  • You have excessive pain.
  • You have signs or symptoms of an infection such as fever over 100°F, or redness, warmth or foul-smelling draininage from the wound.
  • You have any questions or are not sure how to take care of the wound. 

Contact Phone Number – Department of Dermatology