Please wash your hands thoroughly prior to wound care. Clean the webs of the fingers and underneath your fingernails as well as the remainder of your hands. Ensure hands are dried well after cleansing. It is not necessary to use antimicrobial soap.
ENSURE HANDS ARE WASHED THROUGHLY
CLEANING THE WOUND
Only use cotton buds or sterile gauze squares to cleanse the wound(s). Cotton balls do not clean the wound adequately and leave fluff on the surface of the stitches which is hard to remove.
Bathe the wound twice daily (in the morning and before going to bed at night) with sterile salt water. (1 teaspoon of table salt to 1 cup of cooled boiled water).
When cleansing the wound(s), ensure that all blood is removed from the wound surface to prevent scabbing. Scabbing inhibits good wound healing and can put you in a higher risk category for wound infection. NB: Your wound may get wet in the shower after the first 48hrs post surgery. Please cleanse the wound after showering as instructed above. You may also commence washing your hair from this time.
DRESSING THE WOUND
Leave the wound(s) uncovered when possible, however if a dressing is required follow the instructions given to you by the nursing staff.
If on antibiotics, take as directed by your doctor.
If you were advised to stop taking a medication or vitamin therapy prior to surgery, you can recommence these 48hrs after the operation.
For pain relief, Panadol, (panamax/paracetamol) or if necessary Panadeine, should provide relief. If taking panadeine, have something light to eat or a glass of milk before consuming to prevent nausea. Do not use any Aspirin or Disprin based medications (including Ibuprofen or Nurofen) for pain relief during the first 48hrs after surgery, as these will thin your blood and make your wound bleed more easily.
If you have any concerns, please ring the Skin & Cancer Foundation Australia on Monday through to Friday between the hours of 8am and 5pm on (02) 88333 000.
If it is the weekend or you cannot return to the clinic, and you think there is a problem with your wound such as an infection, please do the following:
Go to your GP
- If started on antibiotics, ask to have a wound swab with a copy of the results sent to the Skin & Cancer Foundation Australia.
- Please phone and inform us of you visit to the GP so we can document this in your patient file.
- Signs of infection are redness, tenderness to the area, hot to the touch and pus.