Suture Line Care Instructions
Showering & Bathing (applies to all incisions) – keep the area clean and dry for at least 24 hours after your procedure. After this time, you may shower or wet the area. Soap and water may run over the incision but do not wash the wound aggressively. Please do not swim or fully submerge the incision in water for 2 weeks.
Depending on the procedure, one of the following dressings will be used:
- Vaseline or aquaphor Apply a thin film to the incision twice daily. If the wound is located in a place that will accommodate a bandage, you may cover it with a band-aid or gauze and tape. Unless instructed to keep it covered, a bandage is not necessary.
- Steri-strips These small strips cover the wound while it heals. Leave the tapes alone until they appear to be falling off on their own. At this point, you may peel them away gently. Apply an antibiotic ointment to any exposed portions of the incision until 2 weeks after surgery.
- Surgical glue (dermabond) This product seals the incision and requires no special treatment. You may shower. Allow the glue to peel off on its own. This process usually takes about 2 weeks.
- Antibiotic ointment Apply a thin film of bacitracin, polymixin, or mupirocin to the wound twice daily. If the wound is located in a place that will accommodate a bandage, you may cover it with a band-aid or gauze and tape.
- Unless instructed otherwise, refrain from exercise and similar strenuous activities for 1 week.
- If you notice increasing redness, swelling, pain, heat, drainage, fever or excessive bleeding from the incision line, call the office immediately.
- Scar care: once the skin has healed, usually about 2 weeks after your procedure, a scar care regimen should be initiated. This will be reviewed on your postoperative visit.
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