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Wound Care

Wound Care

Following are instructions for post-operative wound care after Mohs Micrographic Surgery

  1. First 24 hours:
    • The bandage placed on the surgical site should stay in place for a number of days. Check with your physician. Patients with skin
      grafts will usually have a bandage that is sewn in place (“a bolster”) and is therefore left aloneuntil sutures are removed.
    • Greatly reduced activity level. For operative sites on the head and neck: no bending over.
    • Sleep on at least 2 pillows to elevate the head.
    • You may take a shower after 24 hours.
  2. Pain
    • Pain is usually slight: Tylenol or extra strength Tylenol is all that is required in 95% of cases.
    • No aspirin or motrin-like medicines should be taken.
    • For pain not relieved with Tylenol PLEASE CONTACT YOUR DERMATOLOGIST
  3. Dressing changes:
    • First wash hands with soap and water. Wash the wound area gently with soap and water.
    • Apply hydrogen peroxide to the suture line to remove any dried blood or crusts.
    • Apply a thin layer of ointment (bacitracin or white petrolatum) and then cover with a nonstick bandage. Surgical sites should remain covered until sutures are removed. A moist wound always heals better than a wound allowed to dry out.
    • Repeat this procedure daily
  4. Infection
    • Wound infections occur rarely (<1-2% of cases).
    • Potential signs of an infection include; the surgical site becoming redder with time. The wound may feel warmer and there may be pus draining from the excision. Infected wounds
      will often experience an increase in pain, which typically will appear after the 2nd or 3rd day.
    • Additional signs that can be seen with infections are the development of a fever.
  5. Swelling
    • Swelling occurs in all wounds initially because the surgery has caused a wound and your body reacts to that injury.
    • Surgery in close vicinity to the eye can result in a black eye, sometimes with complete closure of an eye.
  6. Bleeding
    • Problems with bleeding are rarely seen.
    • If significant bleeding is noted (i.e., saturated dressing) direct pressure should be applied for 20 minutes. If this does not stop the bleeding call your doctor immediately.

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