Forms & Instructions

Patient Information | Skin Graft Care Instructions | Sutured Wound Care Instructions | Special Instructions for Sutured Facial Sites


formsPatient Information

Sutures/Grafts

You will notice several changes to the surgical area as it heals.

Generally, swelling, bruising and discoloration are common, especially when the surgery is performed around the eye.

As the wound heals, you may feel a “tightness” sensation. This feeling is normal and will gradually lessen. Begin massaging the area a month after the day of surgery. Frequent massaging will aid in loosening the scar as it heals.

The surgical area may also be sensitive to changes in temperature. This will gradually improve.

If you experience severe itching and redness please call us. These symptoms generally indicate an allergic reaction to the bandage or sensitivity to the ointment utilized to dress the wound.

Vaseline will help to relieve the itching you may experience as the wound continues to heal.

Bleeding

Typically a small amount of bleeding is common. If you experience excessive bleeding, apply firm pressure to the bandaged wound for 20 minutes using a clean cloth or gauze. If the bleeding does not stop, apply firm pressure for another 20 minutes. If this does not help, please go to the nearest hospital for assistance.

Scar Maturation

It may take several months for a scar to mature. In fact, the final result may not be visible until a year after the surgery. New sutured wounds have elevated scar lines that will flatten within a few weeks as the sutures dissolve. You may begin experiencing a “tightness” sensation three weeks after the procedure. This feeling will eventually go away. Frequent massaging aids in loosening the scar as it heals. Skin grafts and scars rarely need revision. However, we will examine the surgical area at your follow-up appointment to assess if revision is necessary.

Skin Graft Care Instructions

  1. Following the surgical procedure, go home and relax. Do not perform any strenuous activities until after your follow-up appointment. This includes lifting, bending or straining.
  2. Do not smoke.
  3. Avoid alcoholic beverages and aspirin for two days. If you experience pain, you may take the pain medication prescribed by your doctor or Tylenol (Acetaminophen) for relief.
  4. Do not remove the outer dressing on the wound. Keep it dry for 24 hours.
  5. Remove the outer dressing after 24 hours. Using a Q-tip carefully clean around the base of the bolster (white rolled cotton with black tie over sutures) using hydrogen peroxide. After cleaning, apply Vaseline or bacitracin around the base of the bolster and place a new dressing.
  6. Also, clean the donor site daily using hydrogen peroxide and apply bacitracin or Vaseline.
  7. You may shower. However adjust the shower so it does not beat directly onto the graft site. If the graft site is on your face, wash carefully around it. Do not scrub.
  8. Unless otherwise instructed by your doctor, we will remove the bolster seven days following surgery. We will remove the stitches a week later. Before you leave the clinic, we will schedule an appointment for suture removal. If you need to reschedule, call us at (252) 633-4461.
  9. If you have any questions after office hours, you may call Dr. Polo at home at (252) 633-5758 or on his cell phone at (252) 349-6778.

Sutured Wound Care Instructions (Non-Dissolving Sutures)

  1. Following the surgical procedure, go home and relax. Do not perform any strenuous activities until after your follow-up appointment. This includes heavy exercising, lifting, bending or straining.
  2. Avoid alcoholic beverages and aspirin for two days. If you experience pain, apply crushed ice in a plastic bag or a bag of frozen peas or corn to the site. You may also take the pain medication prescribed by your doctor or Tylenol (Acetaminophen) for relief.
  3. Remove the pressure bandage after 24-48 hours. It is okay if the wound gets wet.
  4. Carefully clean the stitches with hydrogen peroxide. Be sure to use a Q-tip.
  5. Following a thorough cleaning, place antibiotic ointment or petrolatum on the wound. Then cover the area with non-stick dressing and tape.
  6. Unless otherwise instructed by your doctor, we will remove the stitches seven days following surgery. Before you leave the clinic, we will schedule an appointment for suture removal. If you need to reschedule, call us at (252) 633-4461. If you have any questions after office hours, please refer to your wound care sheet for the phone numbers to contact your treating doctor after hours.

Special Instructions for Sutured Facial Sites

  1. For the first two nights, sleep with your head elevated.
  2. Avoid lying on the side of the body where the wound is located.
  3. Do not lift anything over 10 pounds.
  4. Do not bend over with your head positioned lower than heart level. Instead bend at the knees to stoop down.
  5. Bruising and discoloration will develop around the surgical area, particularly around the eye. However, it may not be visible until two to three days following your surgery. This is not out of the ordinary. It is also common for the eyelids to swell. Discoloration and swelling will quickly lessen and disappear.

Dermatology Associates of Coastal Carolina

  • Kinston Location - 701 Doctors Dr., Suite F, Kinston, NC 28501 Phone: 252-686-0991 Fax: 252-686-6810
  • New Bern location - 2115 Neuse Blvd., New Bern, NC 28560 Phone: 252-633-4461 Fax: 252-633-6016
  • Morehead City Location - 3332 Bridges St., Suite 3-B, Morehead City, NC 28557 Phone: 252-622-4378 Fax: 252-622-4659
  • Jacksonville Location - 39-A Office Park Dr., Jacksonville, NC 28546 Phone: 910-333-9337 Fax: 1-910-333-8607

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