- Reference Number: HEY-002/2020
- Departments: Plastic Surgery
- Last Updated: 9 October 2020
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This leaflet has been produced to give you general advice following your discharge. Most of your questions should be answered by this leaflet. It is not intended to replace the discussion between you and the healthcare team, but may act as a starting point for discussion. If after reading it you have any concerns or require further explanation, please discuss this with a member of the healthcare team.
You should take plenty of rest for the next few days and over the next 2 weeks you should avoid any strenuous activities, domestic chores, exercise and heavy lifting. You should avoid excessive head movements or bending, as this may cause the wound to bleed.
Dressings should be kept clean, dry and left undisturbed. Do not use any perfumed products i.e. sprays or creams near your wound as these may irritate it.
You may be given an outpatient appointment if you need to have any stitches removed or alternatively may be asked to make an appointment with your doctor’s practice nurse. The removal of stitches is not painful. If you have had internal stitches, these do not need removing and will take approximately 10 – 12 weeks to dissolve. During your outpatient appointment the nurse will check the wound is healing properly. You can expect to have a little blood ooze from the wound after suture removal. This usually stops quickly with gentle pressure. When you have your stitches removed the nurse may apply some steristrips (paper stitches) for a few more days. Once your wound is fully healed your doctor or nurse may advise you to massage in some unscented moisturiser every day to help soften the scar.
It is advisable to have a supply of mild pain relief medication at home, which should be used as directed on the packet, if you have pain. If you notice any changes to the wound i.e. redness, bleeding (other than oozing), discharge or swelling, you should contact the plastic surgery team for advice.
You should protect your scars from the sun for the first 12 months by using sun-block or until the scars are fully healed. Until the scars are fully matured, they will burn very easily and can darken from direct sun exposure. The scar will usually fade over the first year from red to a pale scar. However, for some people the scar may remain thick, red and itchy and require further treatment.
You may be advised to take some time away from your work to recover after your operation. Your doctor or nurse will advise you at your outpatient appointment.