Surgical Excision - Golden Coast Dermatology

Surgical Excision

Keep dressing clean, dry, and intact for 24 hours. After 24 hours, you may remove the dressing and allow the surgery site to get wet with mild soap and water. Avoid water hitting directly on the wound or scrubbing. Avoid alcohol for 2 days and smoking for 1 week following the procedure.

Cleanse wound daily using mild soap and water. Pat dry and apply Aquaphor or vaseline ointment to the wound twice a day. Do not let the wound dry out or have a hard crust form. Cover with a non-adherent dressing such as a band aid or Telfa dressing. We recommend an ointment with silicone or silicone scar pads to help improve the appearance. 

If painful, take Tylenol, 2 tablets every 4-6 hours. You can also apply ice, alternating on and off every 20 minutes. Avoid non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (Aspirin, Aleve, Motrin, etc) if possible as they are more likely to cause bleeding.

If bleeding should occur, apply constant pressure for 20 minutes (no breaks to peak at wound) then repeat with pressure and ice for 20 minutes.

Activities should be limited during the healing process. No lifting or bending at the waist for 3 days. Do not lift over 15 lbs. 

If the surgical site was on your head, sleep with your head elevated by at least 2 pillows or in a reclining chair. If the leg or arm was operated on, elevate the extremity as much as possible. For legs, we recommend compression socks be worn while awake for the next 2 weeks. If you had surgery near your mouth or cheeks, avoid excessive chewing or talking for the first 3 days. Semi-soft foods are recommended during this time.

The wound will be red as new blood vessels grow. Over the course of a few months, the redness will resolve. You can also start the scar cream 1 month after the surgery to help improve the appearance.

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