Surgical Aftercare

Post-Operative Wound Care Instructions

The importance of postoperative care to your surgical site cannot be overstressed. The care you take of yourself and your surgical wound is extremely important to the success of your procedure. It is also important to your recovery and well-being.

There are several things that could happen after surgery.

BLEEDING

Bleeding can occur following any surgical procedure. To reduce the possibilities of any bleeding, please follow these instructions.  Limit activities for at least 24 hours. Keep the operative site elevated if possible. If the surgery was on the face, head, or neck, expect bruising around the eyes. Avoid stooping or bending. Sleep with your head and shoulders elevated on extra pillows. SHOULD BLEEDING OCCUR, apply FIRM, CONSTANT pressure for 20 minutes without peeking at the area. This will usually stop minor bleeding.

SWELLING

Swelling occurs because surgery has caused a wound and your body reads to that injury.  To reduce swelling, you can apply an ice bag for 20 minutes each hour during the waking hours.  Try and keep your bandage dry.

PAIN

Pain, postoperatively, is generally slight.  In nearly all cases, EXTRA STRENGTH TYLENOL will relieve any pain you may experience.  Avoid taking Aspirin, Aleve, or Ibuprofen as these medicines may increase your likelihood to bleed.

INFECTION

Infection seldom occurs when the would care instructions have been followed carefully.  Signs of infection are increased pain, swelling, redness, or yellowish drainage DAYS after surgery.

WOUND CARE DAILY UNTIL SUTURES ARE REMOVED

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Gently clean the wound with warm soapy water (NO PEROXIDE).  Try to remove all dry blood and crust without scrubbing too much.  A small amount of bleeding may occur.  This is normal.
  3. Dry the wound thoroughly with a clean soft cloth by blotting.  Do not rub.
  4. Apply topical ointment with a Q-tip (Vaseline or Aquaphor).
  5. Cover daily with a clean dry bandage.

There WILL be a scar and redness after surgery.  This will decrease as the healing progresses but the redness can last up to 6 months.  Everyone heals differently and the final scar appearance depends on the individual’s ability to heal.  In other words, some scars heal and can hardly be seen while others become thick and/or tender.  Because of the unpredictability in wound healing, the final appearance cannot be preoperatively ascertained.

In case of emergencies after hours, please call our normal office phone number 770-460-8988 and the answering service will page the nurse on call.  If an emergency arises and you are unable to contact our office, please go directly to the emergency room or call 911.