- Reference Number: HEY-002/2023
- Departments: Plastic Surgery
- Last Updated: 2 October 2023
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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.
Should you require further advice on the issues contained in this leaflet, please do not hesitate to contact the Plastic Surgery team (01482) 623259 (Monday – Friday) or (01482) 674509 (Saturday and Sunday)
This leaflet was produced by the Plastic Surgery Department, Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and will be reviewed in October 2026.
General Advice and Consent
Most of your questions should have been answered by this leaflet, but remember that this is only a starting point for discussion with the healthcare team.
Consent to treatment
Before any doctor, nurse or therapist examines or treats you, they must seek your consent or permission. In order to make a decision, you need to have information from health professionals about the treatment or investigation which is being offered to you. You should always ask them more questions if you do not understand or if you want more information.
The information you receive should be about your condition, the alternatives available to you, and whether it carries risks as well as the benefits. What is important is that your consent is genuine or valid. That means:
- you must be able to give your consent
- you must be given enough information to enable you to make a decision
- you must be acting under your own free will and not under the strong influence of another person
Information about you
We collect and use your information to provide you with care and treatment. As part of your care, information about you will be shared between members of a healthcare team, some of whom you may not meet. Your information may also be used to help train staff, to check the quality of our care, to manage and plan the health service, and to help with research. Wherever possible we use anonymous data.
We may pass on relevant information to other health organisations that provide you with care. All information is treated as strictly confidential and is not given to anyone who does not need it. If you have any concerns please ask your doctor, or the person caring for you.
Under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 we are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information we hold about you. For further information visit the following page: Confidential Information about You.
If you or your carer needs information about your health and wellbeing and about your care and treatment in a different format, such as large print, braille or audio, due to disability, impairment or sensory loss, please advise a member of staff and this can be arranged.