(IN OFFICE FACILITY)
NIGHT OF SURGERY
• Rest: To reduce any inflammation and promote proper healing of the skin, you want to make sure to take it easy.
• Minimize Tension on Scar: Try to leave the area alone as much as possible. You want to avoid inflammation and any added stress to the area.
• Scar Gels/ Lotions/ Tapes: Do not put anything on your incision after the procedure unless otherwise instructed by your physician. This includes lotions, makeup, and sunscreen.
• Dressing: You may be instructed to apply a dressing on the incision area. Make sure to clarify this with your doctor.
• Sutures: Limit movement to sutured area and do not stretch the skin. Keep area dry for at least 24 hours, unless instructed otherwise. You may wash the area very gently with room temperature water when instructed by your physician.
• Avoid Smoking: Smoking can halt the healing process and increase any chance of complications.
• Healthy Eating: Please follow our foods and medications to avoid instructions to minimize risk of swelling and bruising.
• Hydration: Stay hydrated by drinking 8 -10 glasses of water a day. Hydration helps promote healing.
• Hot Tubs/Baths/Swimming Pool: No tub baths or jacuzzi until your incisions have healed, and you have been approved by your surgeon, which is usually around 4 weeks.
• Showering: Check with your physician as to when it is safe to make the surgical site wet.
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR INCISIONS
• Cleaning Incisions: Occasionally, crusting will occur around the sutures. This is normal and will resolve. You can gently clean your incision with hydrogen peroxide on a cotton swab if this occurs. Do not try to pull off any crusts. Showering daily will minimize crusting.
• Sun Exposure: Avoid and minimize sun exposure. Even a mild sunburn can worsen swelling and irritate an incision that is healing.
• Scar Gel: After your incisions have completely healed, and when your doctor has told you it is safe, you can begin to use silicon-based gel on your scars to improve healing.
WHAT TO EXPECT
• Swelling and Discoloration: It is completely normal for your incision to appear swollen as well as have purple-bluish bruising. The bruising will be greater on the second and third day after your surgery. This is temporary and over the course of the next six weeks this will improve.
• Mild Bleeding: Some mild bleeding is not unusual at the incision sites for the first few days after surgery. If you try to do strenuous activity, increase your blood pressure by straining on the toilet, sneezing, heavy lifting, or bending forward you will aggravate the bleeding and swelling.
• Pain and Itching: You may experience some pain or itching around the incision site during the healing process, this is normal and will resolve in a few weeks.
• Sutures: Usually, the sutures used are dissolvable and do not need to be removed.
• Scars: Scars initially will appear a deep pink color. With time, the pink will fade and become white, the firmness of the scar will soften, and it will become less noticeable. Each individual varies with respect to healing, but it takes approximately a year for these changes to occur and the scars to look their best. Once your surgeon advises you, you may apply a siliconbased scar gel to your scar for enhanced healing.
• Final Result: Your scar will change over time. It is important to remember that scar revisions will improve the scar appearance, but will not make it completely go away. There is always a possibility of the scar to come back or keloid formation to occur. Following the instructions above can help to decrease the chance of this happening.
• Driving: Do NOT operate a vehicle or make important decisions until you have been off pain medications for 24 hours. Use good judgment.
• Returning to work: Most patients may return to work anywhere from a day to a week after the procedure.
• Exercise: Normal activity can be resumed a few days after surgery. You can resume an exercise regimen in approximately 2-3 weeks after surgery. Just know that swelling may transiently be worse with exercise. Discuss exercise limitations with your surgeon as size and location of scar will impact exercise recommendations.
• DO NOT place anything frozen directly on the skin.
• DO NOT submerge your incision line in water or get your incisions wet while the incisions are still healing.
• DO NOT take Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, or other blood thinners until your surgeon advises you it is safe.
WHEN TO CALL THE OFFICE (703-481-0002) OR GO TO THE HOSPITAL
• Signs of Infection: Spreading of redness, worsening of swelling, increased drainage or drainage of pus, worsening pain, warmth at incision site, and temperature over 101°F.
• Excessive Bleeding: If the dressings are saturated with bright red blood and you are having to make very frequent dressing changes or if the incision sites appear to be oozing blood excessively.
• Other Emergency Situations: Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chest pain, lightheadedness that does not quickly resolve, severe vomiting, pain, or asymmetric swelling in your legs.