Here you will find post-procedure care instructions for our most common procedures. Many procedures have similar instructions. For most procedures, a general rule of thumb is to keep areas moist with lotion or ointment and not dry or crusted. You will receive very specific instructions from your care team on the day of the procedure. The instructions below are what apply to most situations, but you may have received alternate directions for your specific case. If there is any uncertainty, call our office for clarification at any time.
A note on Steri-Strips: If you had surgery with stitches, we commonly place small tapes over the stitches, known as ‘Steri-Strips’. These provide a small amount of added protection to the wound and are covered by a larger white pressure bandage. When your instructions say to remove your bandage on a given day, you are to remove everything that is white, leaving the small brown/tan Steri-Strips behind. As long as the Steri-Strips are in place, you do not need to do anything other than gently wash over them and pat dry. Do not apply Vaseline or hydrogen peroxide if Steri-Strips are still present. Do not fret if the Steri-Strips come off very early on. This is not cause for alarm, simply proceed in your provided wound care instructions as indicated.
A note on hydrogen peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide is wonderful to help dissolve dried or crusted blood. We always want sutures to be clean and moist with Vaseline, not dry and crusted. A small amount of hydrogen peroxide can help remove crusted blood but should not be used more than once per day. If there is no crusting or dried blood, there is no need for hydrogen peroxide, and overuse my hinder healing. Do not apply hydrogen peroxide if Steri-Strips are present.
A note on Vaseline: Any petroleum containing ointment such as Vaseline or Aquaphor is perfect for optimized healing. This is best applied deeply in to the incision line/stitches several times per day. This means using your fingers, not a Q-tip to apply the ointment with a circular motion into the suture line to deeply moisturize the area. Do not apply Vaseline or ointment if Steri-Strips are present.
A note on bleeding: Small spotting on your bandage is normal and a sign that the pressure bandage is doing its job. If the bandage becomes saturated or if blood is dripping out from beneath the bandage, you must apply firm, direct pressure over the area. Pressure should be applied firmly and steadily without the use of ice or a towel – the base of the palm should be placed directly on the bandage with steady downward pressure for 20 minutes or more without a break. This means watching the clock! If bleeding continues, please call the office.