Dr. MJ Bazos MD,
When do I remove the bandage?
Your bandage should be removed the day after
surgery. Your doctor may ask you to replace your bandage each day. Most wounds
don't require a bandage after a few days, but you may decide to wear a bandage
to protect the incision.
The incision is red. Is this normal?
The edges of a healing incision may be slightly
red. Redness is normal, but call your doctor if the redness is increasing or if
it spreads more than half an inch from the wound. Call your doctor if you see
pus in the incision or if the incision is more than mildly tender or painful.
Your doctor may ask you to put an antibiotic
cream on the incision. You can buy some antibiotic creams without a
prescription. Apply the cream twice a day.
What do I do if the incision bleeds?
If your bandage becomes bloody, replace it with
dry gauze or another bandage. Applying pressure directly to the incision for a
few minutes will usually stop the bleeding. If the wound keeps bleeding after
you apply pressure, call your doctor.
Do I need to keep the incision dry?
Keep your incision clean and dry for the first
24 hours. Avoid showering or bathing the first day. Try taking a sponge bath
instead. You may wash with soap and water by the second day. Take a shower
instead of a bath if you have stitches or skin tape on your incision. Gently
towel dry the incision after washing.
Will the stitches be removed?
Deep stitches are absorbed by your body
gradually and don't need to be removed. Your doctor will remove stitches that
don't absorb into the tissues. Stitches are usually removed in 3 days to 3 weeks
after surgery, depending on where they are and how quickly you heal.
Your doctor may apply skin tape after the
stitches are removed. Skin tape provides additional wound support. The tape can
be removed in 3 to 7 days. Healing skin may need months to regain most
of its strength.
Should I limit my activities?
Limiting movement of the area around your
incision improves healing. Avoid activities that could cause your scar to pull
apart. Your doctor may ask you to avoid lifting, straining, exercise or sports
for the first month after surgery. Call your doctor if the incision pulls apart.
Should I avoid sun exposure?
A healing scar will darken and become more
noticeable if it gets sunburned. Limit your sun exposure for the first 6 months
after surgery. When you go outdoors during the day, cover your scar with tape or