Immediately after: Ice the areas 3x daily for 15 minutes for 2-3 days. If the wound is on the head or neck, keep it elevated. Sleep with your head elevated by pillows or in a recliner. You may take Tylenol extra strength if you have any discomfort. Usually the area is slightly tender to the touch for a few weeks.
Do NOT touch the bandage for 48 hours. In 2 days: You may wash the site with regular soap and water. It is encouraged to wash the site twice daily for the first week and then daily following that. If you have a graft, do NOT wash it. Clean the wound with plain soap and water to remove any built-up crusts. Gentle cleansing won’t harm a wound.
Moist, covered wounds heal the fastest: Scab= Scar, Scab= slow healing. The wound should be moistened with Vaseline or petroleum jelly (in a tube, not a jar). This is to be applied with a Q-Tip, NOT your finger. Do NOT USE Neosporin. You may use polysporin if you do not have an allergy to this. Keeping the wound moist improves healing and prevents infection.
How often do I change the Band-Aid? Twice daily, when you apply a new coat of Vaseline to the wound. The wound should be covered with a band-aid for 1-2 weks until it has healed (4-5 weeks for legs). If you are having an allergic reaction to the Band-Aid, just make sure your wound is always moist and Vaseline is applied often (5-6 times daily). For deeper wounds a prescription healing ointment called Biafine emulsion is used 1-2 x a day covered with a Band-Aid or gauze pad with tape.
How long do I apply Vaseline and a Band-Aid? Apply Vaseline 1-2 weeks until the sutures are removed, then for 1 week after. If you dislike the Band-Aid you can go without it, but you must reapply the Vaseline 5-10 times a day. It is important that the wound does not dry out.
Yes, you can shower: You may wash the site with regular soap and water. It is encouraged to wash the site twice daily for the first week then at least daily after that. Clean the wound with plain soap and water to remove any built-up crusts and exudate. Gentle cleansing won’t harm a wound.
Inflammation and swelling: These are the normal, especially if this was done on the lower leg. Ice the area for 15 minutes and then remove the ice for 15 minutes if the inflammation continues.
Infection: Infection is rare but can happen. Feel free to call your respective medical office if you notice increased swelling, pain or tenderness.
Ice: Apply ice packs for 10-15 minutes and then remove for 15 minutes. Perform this exercise three times for the next three days
Sleeping: Sleep with your head elevated for the first two nights (you can sleep in a recliner or in your bed with 2-3 pillows behind your head). Do NOT sleep on the side of the body with the wound.
Bending over: Do not bend over and put your head lower than your heart. If you have to bend, do so at the knee.
Ice: Apply ice packs for 10-15 minutes and then remove for 15 minutes. Perform this exercise three times for the next three days.
Sleeping: Keep your hand elevated above your heart for the first 48 hours. When sleeping, prop your hand up on two pillows.
Movement: Avoid as much movement as possible for the next 48 hours. Minimize movement as much as possible for the next two weeks.
This is the farthest area away from you heart, which means this takes the LONGEST to heal.
Be Patient: These wounds can take several months to heal. If you are a diabetic, an antibiotic may be prescribed.
Swelling: Your legs and surgical site WILL be swollen. Please try to keep your leg up as much as possible for the first two weeks and walk as little as possible. No extensive exercise for two weeks.
Support Stockings: These help heal the wound faster by improving blood flow and circulation. Knee-high stockings are adequate unless you have extensive varicose veins or arterial circulation issues. These can be found at any medical supply store and we recommend 20-30 mmhg.
Unna Boot: An Unna Boot is a moist gauze bandage that promotes healing, increases circulation, and reduces the chance of infection. The boot is usually wrapped from the toe to the knee and then an elastic bandage is wrapped tightly over the Unna Boot. Our office will apply a new boot every week until you are healed.
Unna Boot Care: Keep the Unna Boot dry and do not take a bath or shower when wearing it unless you cover it with a large plastic bag. The medical staff will explain how this is done. In some cases, a sponge bath may be the only option. You should be able to wear a sock or stocking over an Unna Boot as well as your regular shoes. If your foot is swollen, a wider shoe or slipper might be needed.
If you have questions please call your respective office to speak to the medical staff.