For the first few hours after going home, apply ice to the area where the procedure was done. It is best to limit activities, since movement might increase bleeding. The anesthetic wears off in about two hours. There may be some increased pain and bleeding at that time.

The wound has been covered with a material that looks like Saran wrap (Tegaderm). On top of this, there is gauze covered by tape. You may remove the outer gauze ___________________________________. Do not remove the thin, see-through covering that looks like Saran wrap. That should stay on until sutures are removed.

Occasionally, there will be some bleeding under the Tegaderm. If there is a fair amount, it is best just to pick up some Tegaderm at the Pharmacy and replace it.

Use acetaminophen (Tylenol) (two [2] every four hours) or ibuprofen (three [3] 200 mg pills four times per day) for pain as needed. Avoid aspirin since it may cause bleeding. It is okay to use both Tylenol and ibuprofen. Take them at least 2 hours apart.

Whenever there is a break in the skin, germs can get underneath and cause infection. If a wound infection does occur, it usually starts 2-4 days after the sutures were put in. Signs of infection include: (a) increased redness or red streaks leading from the wound, (b) increased swelling, (c) increased tenderness or pain, (d) yellow drainage or pus, (e) fever or chills.

If you think you might have an infection, call the doctor. You may have been given an antibiotic already. The drug was ____________________, ______ mg. Take the rest of the medicine as follows: __________________

Be careful not to put excessive pressure on the sutured area. Ask your doctor what kind of activities you can do. The full wound strength does not return for three months. Stretching will increase scarring. You may want to pick up some self-adhesive wrap (Coban, Coflex, Coach, etc.) to protect the area, if you are going to be active.

If Steri-Strips (butterflies) were applied, leave them on until they drop off by themselves. If the edges curl up, cut them off with scissors. It is okay to get them wet, but do not scrub over them. Steri-strips are often used after the sutures are removed to provide support.

The sutures should be removed in ______ days on _________________________. This is generally not painful.

Any sutured wound will have some scarring. The wound will not be totally healed, so you will not know the final
results for at least 10-12 months.

If you had a tissue sample sent to the lab, call us for the results if we have not called you in 14 days.

If Dermabond (“super-glue”) was used on your wound, keep it dry for 24 hours. After that, showering is allowed. Be careful that there is not undue pressure applied to the wound that could break it open. DO NOT use any ointment if “super-glue” was used. Glue may also be used after sutures are removed for additional strength.

If you notice any skin growth returning after it was removed, call the office. Also call should you experience any problems.

Republished with the permission of John L. Pfenninger, M.D. –