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How should I look after the dressing?

Your wound will usually be dressed with brown micropore tape. This is relatively inconspicuous. You should leave the dressing intact and should not touch it.

Can I wash after surgery?

Your dressing is shower-proof, so you can shower normally following your operation.

However, you should also avoid soaking the dressing in a bath. After washing you should pat the dressing dry with a clean towel and then use a hair-dryer on a warm (NOT hot!!!) setting to dry the area fully.

How long are the stitches in for?

Stitches on the face are usually left in for 1-week. Elsewhere on the body (back, chest, breasts and limbs] they stay in for longer, but often dissolvable stitches are used which do not need to be removed.

If your wound has been closed with dissolvable stitches only, you can leave the tape on the wound until it starts to come off by itself. This will usually be around 2-weeks. In most cases Mr Banwell will ask you to return to the clinic for a ‘wound check’ by the nursing staff to ensure all is progressing in the right direction. He will usually review you the following week although if it is a straightforward minor procedure this appointment is usually 1 month after surgery when results will be discussed.

When can I use make-up on the wound?

You should wait until several days after the stitches are taken out before applying make-up directly on the wound. This is to ensure that the wound is completely sealed which will prevent the make-up from irritating the wound. Please see the guidance about massaging your wound below - your moisturiser should be applied BEFORE any make-up!

What signs should I look for to make sure that no problems are developing?

There are several important signs that may suggest problems with your wound.
These include:

  • Increasing pain at the wound site
  • Redness developing around the wound
  • Persistent discharge from the wound (this does not include minor bleeding that virtually always occurs a few hours after your operation)
  • Generally feeling of being unwell
  • A rising temperature
  • Nausea and vomiting

Should you notice any of these symptoms you should get back in contact with the hospital where you had your operation for an urgent review.

Who do I contact in an emergency?

The best place to call in an emergency is the hospital at which your operation was performed. Alternatively, you should telephone Mr Banwell's team (between 9am and 5pm) on 01342 330302

What can I do to help the scar(s) settle down?

To improve the appearance of your scar re-taping and subsequent massaging is very important

  • About a week following the removal of your stitches you should start to massage your scar. Mr Banwell recommends vitamin E cream to help with this massage - this will also help moisturise the scar at the same time.
  • Using silicone-based tapes or creams on the scar may also help the scar to become softer and flatter sooner than it would otherwise. They may also prevent the scar from becoming hypertrophic (red and lumpy).

What activities can I do after my operation?

It is important to take things easy after your operation. Refrain from bending or lifting (this raise your blood pressure and can lead to further bleeding). If you have had an operation on your face it is a good idea to sleep on some pillows so you do not lay flat. Vigorous exercise should be avoided for at least two weeks (even for minor procedures) and longer if you have had a bigger operation. Mr Banwell or his team will explain in more detail should you have any specific questions.

Warning: smoking increases the chances of suffering from complications significantly and may preclude the surgery from taking place.

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