Wound Care – Instructions following minor surgery

Patient Leaflets Team

  • Reference Number: HEY1093/2020
  • Departments: Dermatology

Introduction

This leaflet has been produced to give you general information. 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.

After care wound care instructions?

You had a minor operation in the skin department today. Please follow these instructions, as they will help prevent any complications as your wound heals.

First 24 to 48 hours after surgery

Relax and take it easy. Vigorous exercise or heavy lifting could cause the wound to bleed.

When the local anaesthetic wears off, you might feel some soreness or discomfort. You may take paracetamol (2 tablets every 6 hours). Do not take aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, since they increase the risk of bleeding. The same applies to alcohol.

We might have covered the wound with a dressing. Please keep it dry.

You may see a small amount of blood on your dressing. This is normal, however, if the bleeding continues:

  • Apply firm pressure with a gauze swab over the dressing for 15 minutes.
  • If bleeding still continues, apply an ice-pack for 15 minutes to the dressed area. A simple ice-pack can be made by placing a bag of frozen peas into a dry plastic bag, this avoids wetting the dressing
  • If bleeding continues contact your own doctor or the Emergency Department at Hull Royal Infirmary. They will then contact us if necessary.

48 hours after your surgery

REMOVE YOUR DRESSING. IF IT SEEMS VERY STICKY OR DIFFICULT TO GET OFF, YOU MAY NEED TO SOAK IT OFF IN THE SHOWER.

After the dressing is off, you may get the wound wet and shower or take a quick bath. However, do not soak the wound for prolonged time.

What to expect afterwards?

For the first few days your wound may be tender. There may be swelling and bruising around the wound, especially if it is near the eye. The area around our 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 edges of the wound will be reddened. This will lighten day by day.

In addition to the superficial stitches we might have used some deep sutures. These will not need to be removed, since they dissolve in most cases. Sometimes however they might come through the skin. In that case just snip them off with a pair of scissors.

If despite all the above measures there are signs of an infection such as a fever, or redness, warmth or foul-smelling drainage from the wound, you should see your doctor.

Sutures

You have …………. superficial stitches, which should be removed in ……………days.

Please make an appointment at your doctor’s surgery for this.

Once the stitches have been removed, the scar will still be weak and might break down if you are not careful. Any exercise which might pull your scar should be avoided for another couple of months

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.

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