For patients who will be having surgery, The Skin Surgery Center has outlined some helpful pre-operative and post-operative care instructions.
Your care team will go over these and other important information before and after your procedure as well.
Patient Instructions for Surgery
- Do not stop any medications you are currently taking unless your prescribing physician has advised you to. This includes blood thinners and aspirin. If you are on Coumadin, please provide your INR results within one (1) week of surgery.
- Sometimes, even with a minor procedure, a patient may feel anxious and nervous. We can give you medication to help you relax; however, if you do take the medication, you are required to have someone who will drive you home and stay with you during your appointment.
- If the patient is unable to make medical decisions for themselves, please make sure that someone who is authorized to make medical decisions for the patient accompanies them to their appointment and remains with the patient during their stay.
- You may eat your normal breakfast if your surgery is scheduled in the morning.If your surgery is scheduled in the afternoon, please eat your normal lunch. If you are a diabetic, please bring a snack with you.
- If your surgery is for the treatment of skin cancer, you should plan to spend time waiting for laboratory results. Sometimes the surgery can be more extensive than expected. Our average surgery wait time is 4-5 hours. Please be patient and bring reading material, crafts or an electronic device to help pass the time.
- Please wear comfortable clothing. We ask that you please wear a two-piece outfit since it may be necessary for you to remove your blouse or shirt and put on a gown.
- Due to limited waiting room space, we ask that you please limit family or friends to no more than 1-2 people. This will ensure your comfort as well as the comfort of other patients who will also be having surgery.
- Please note: If you have a pacemaker, defibrillator or any other internal device, please notify your surgical nurse on the day of your surgery.
- If you are unable to keep your scheduled appointment for surgery, please contact our office as soon as possible. Please make sure to specify that you need to reschedule your surgery appointment.
Possible Supplies for Care
- Telfa dressing and surgical tape or adhesive bandage (such as Bandaids)
- Cotton Swabs (such as Q-Tips)
- Petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline)
Wound Care often depends on the patient but may include:
- Clean wound two times daily beginning 24-48 hours after surgery
- Clean wound with Q-Tips soaked in peroxide. Do not re-use Q-Tips. Remove all crusted material and any white/yellow material that comes off easily.
- After cleaning, apply a thin layer of Vaseline with a clean Q-Tip.
- Cover your wound with the following dressing: Bandaids or Telfa Dressing cut to the size of the wound and then secure with tape.
- Continue wound care until stitches are removed or as your doctor directs. If the surgical site is swelling, you may elevate the site and apply an ice pack as long as the bandage stays dry.
In the first 24 hours, showers or baths are allowed if the bandage remains dry. After 24 hours, the sutures may then get wet but do not immerse in bath water. Swimming is not allowed until the sutures are removed. Heavy lifting (more than 10 pounds) and exercise (sports, golf, etc.) are not allowed until the sutures are removed.
Unless the doctor states otherwise, you may take Extra Strength Tylenol, Ibuprofen or Aleve for pain as needed. Drinking alcohol should be avoided for two days.
When to Contact Your Doctor
- Bleeding which saturates your dressing, as well as, continuous bleeding (some spotting is normal). To stop bleeding, hold direct pressure on the dressing for 20 minutes and do not remove the dressing.
- Fever greater than 100°F or 38°C.
- Any signs of infection, i.e., redness, swelling, foul-smelling drainage, pain, heat or increasing or new pain.
- Severe nausea and/or vomiting