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Wound Care for Mohs Surgery Recovery

The board-certified professionals at Suncoast Skin Solutions have been dedicated to providing patients with comprehensive surgical, medical, and cosmetic dermatological care. Our cutting-edge surgical and non-surgical approaches to medical and cosmetic dermatology provide our patients with natural-looking results that require minimal downtime and recovery.

Home Precautions:

  • After surgery go home and take it easy, no exertion, lifting, bending or straining for (1) full week.
  • Smoking: During the week after surgery, do not smoke, as this will affect the healing of the surgery site. Smoking will delay your healing.
  • Do not drink any alcoholic beverages for 24 hours
  • While sleeping or resting, keep your head or limb elevated for the first two nights. Do not sleep on the same side of the body as the wound.
  • Do not bend over with our head lower than the level of your heart. Bend at the knees to stoop down. Be careful not to lift anything heavy or do anything that may cause strain on the sutures.

Swelling, Redness, and Drainage:

It is completely normal to have some swelling and redness about the wound site after surgery.  This redness and swelling will gradually disappear over the next few days to a week.  Also, there may be some drainage from the wound.  This should also stop after a few days.

Bleeding:

Bleeding is rare. The best medicine is to avoid bleeding complications to start. We recommend the following

  1. Use an ice-pack and apply to the area of the surgery for 20 minutes every hour without getting the bandage wet.

If bleeding occurs, please follow these instructions:

  1. Lie down and apply firm pressure to the site.  If a bulky dressing has been placed over the wound, this should be removed.  Apply a clean gauze pad.
  2. Direct pressure should be applied for 20 minutes (or 5 songs on the radio), to the pad over the wound.  Do not discontinue pressure until 20 minutes has elapsed, or the bleeding has stopped.
  3. If the bleeding continues after 20 minutes, remove the pad and press directly on the bleeding area with black tea bag that has been soaked in water. The tannins in the tea have a hemostatic effect.
  4. If the bleeding still has not stopped, please call 954-228-3429. Dr Styperek will speak with you to identify the next best plan of care and may ask you to meet him at the office.

Pain:

It is normal to have mild to moderate pain for a day or two following the procedure.  If this pain is uncomfortable, oral pain medications may be taken. We recommend:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol) 500-1000mg
    • Use the lower dose if you have liver problems
  • If you are still having discomfort after 2-3 hours, you may take ibuprofen 400mg
  • If you are still having discomfort after 2-3 hours, then take the acetaminophen (Tylenol) again.
  • If you are still having discomfort after 2-3 hours, you may take ibuprofen 400mg again.
  • Continue alternating acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen

If you are allergic to any medication above, please let us know and we will make changes.

Ice packs may also be used for pain relief in the first 24 hours (applying them to the wound site (over the bandage) for 20 minutes every hour. 

Pain is experienced differently by everyone. If you feel that you are particularly sensitive to pain, we are happy to prescribe prescription medicines to help you manage your post-procedure discomfort.

We do not recommend a compound containing aspirin as it may cause bleeding. If there is no relief from the pain with the use of regular pain medications or if the condition worsens after 3 to 4 days, please contact our office.  Please ask one of our clinical staff members for instructions.

Materials for Dressing Your Wound:

The dressing must be changed daily after the first 48 hours in order to facilitate the wound to heal.  With proper care, you will be surprised at how well and rapidly your wound heals.

The following materials are needed after your surgery. We suggest you do not purchase these items until after surgery.  The amount of supplies needed depends on the extent of your surgery.

  1. Petroleum Jelly (Brand: Vaseline).
  2. Gauze pads.
  3. Non-stick dressing pads (Brand: Telfa)
  4. Paper tape (Brand: Micropore)

Dressing your Wound:

If your wound is stitched closed (looks like a line or multiple lines)

We recommend that you do not get the wound site wet for the first 48 hours.  After 48 hours, you may shower with the dressing in place and change the dressing afterwards according to the following directions:

  1. Remove the old dressing by soaking with water and discard. GET IT WET TO REMOVE EASILY.
  2. Clean the wound gently with warm soap and water.
  3. Apply the ointment to the non-stick dressing. Vaseline or Aveeno ointment is best.
  4. Completely cover the wound with non-stick dressing (large enough to cover wound site). 
  5. Adhere dressing to skin with paper tape.
  6. Repeat steps 1-5 TWICE A DAY until your scheduled post-procedure return.

* Always keep open wounds covered unless otherwise instructed.

If your wound was closed with a patch (i.e., skin graft)

Do NOT get the wound site wet for the next week. Do NOT remove the bulky pressure dressing. This needs to remain secure and intact until instructed. This ensures graft will “take.” 

If the dressing comes loose, reinforce the bulky dressing with tape or a wrap (ACE or other). If the pressure dressing comes off, and the graft is exposed, please return to the office and we will reapply the dressing.

If you have a DONOR SITE that is OPEN, remove the donor site dressing after 2 days.

  1. Remove the old dressing by soaking with water and discard. GET IT WET TO REMOVE EASILY.
  2. Clean the wound gently with warm soap and water.
  3. Apply the ointment to the wound. Vaseline or Aveeno ointment is best.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 TWICE A DAY until your scheduled post-procedure return.

If you purchased a specialty dressing: See instructions above.

If you have a DONOR SITE that is STITCHED CLOSED, remove the donor site dressing after 2 days.

  1. Remove the old dressing by soaking with water and discard. GET IT WET TO REMOVE EASILY.
  2. Clean the wound gently with warm soap and water.
  3. Apply the ointment to the non-stick dressing. Vaseline or Aveeno ointment is best.
  4. Completely cover the wound with non-stick dressing (large enough to cover wound site). 
  5. Adhere dressing to skin with paper tape.
  6. Repeat steps 1-5 TWICE A DAY until your scheduled post-procedure return.

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