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Suture and Staple Post Care

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First night after surgery:
  • Keep wound covered with bandage. You may reinforce or re-tape it if necessary.
  • A small amount of bleeding on your bandage the first night is normal. If you begin to have heavier bleeding, apply firm pressure with gauze over the bandage for 10 – 15 minutes. This should be adequate to stop the bleeding. Raising the head of bed with extra pillows may also help. Occasionally, reinforcing the dressing with extra gauze helps.
  • Discomfort should be mild and can usually be controlled with Extra-Strength Tylenol. You will be given a prescription for pain medication if increased discomfort is anticipated. Avoid pain relievers containing Aspirin or Ibuprofen for the next 2 days, as they may increase bleeding.
  • Avoid bending over and strenuous activities for 24 hours as they may cause increased bleeding.
  • Expect mild bruising and swelling, as well as temporary numbness.
Day after surgery:
  • You may remove bandage in the morning.
  • Begin cleaning incisions with Q-tips soaked in Hydrogen Peroxide twice daily to remove any crusts. Pat dry afterwards and continue for the next 5 days. After that, soap and water is fine.
  • Apply Bacitracin ointment to incisions after cleaning twice daily using Q-tips. Aquaphor healing ointment may be substituted for Bacitracin allergic patients. Continue until sutures or staples are removed.
  • You may shower over the incisions after 24 hours. Gently pat wound dry after bathing and reapply Bacitracin ointment.
  • You may leave wounds open to air. A Band-aid or Telfa pad may be applied, if desired.
  • Sutures or staples will be removed in approximately 1 week at your post-op visit.

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