I have had Mohs micrographic surgery today - how do I look after the wound?

After the surgery 
You can go home after your surgery, we advise to bring someone with you who can drive you home, alternatively you can call someone to pick you up or get a taxi home. YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO TAKE PUBLIC TRANSPORT OR DRIVE YOURSELF HOME. Even though you have only had a local anaesthetic you will still feel tired after your surgery, therefore we advise to have at least 2 restful days planned. Avoid heavy lifting and vigorous exercise for at least 3-4 days as this can stretch the scar or even open up the wound. Please try to refrain from smoking or drinking alcohol for at least 3-4 days post-surgery as these can affect the wound healing process and cause more bleeding. Always follow the wound care advice given. 

Wound care advice 
Normal sensation should return in 1-2 hours, you may take pain relief for e.g. paracetamol (as long as you are not taking anything else containing paracetamol) every 4-6 hours if you feel the area is uncomfortable (do not exceed 8 500mg doses in 24 hours) 

Do not take aspirin or ibuprofen as these can increase bleeding or bruising. 

It is unusual for the wound to bleed after your surgery, if this happens apply continuous pressure to the area for at least 20 minutes, if it continues contact the clinic. 

It is normal to have some redness, swelling and bruising, however if these increase rapidly and/or you have fluid discharge please contact the clinic as this may indicate an infection. 

  • Please keep your dressings in place and dry for 48 hours after your surgery, unless advised otherwise. We advise against swimming or soaking the wound (e.g. in a bath) until new skin forms. 
  • After 48 hours you can remove the dressing. To remove the dressing, we recommend that you take a shower and remove it once it is wet (this avoids any potential damage to the skin). At this stage the wound can be left exposed. 
  • After removing the dressing, wash the area in the shower as this is fresh flowing water and lightly remove residual product from the wound. Allow the water to penetrate the wound. 
  • After showering pat dry with a clean towel and apply a generous smear of the antibiotic ointment which you have been prescribed. This will help prevent the wound from crusting. A crust or scab on the wound will slow down the wound healing and affect the cosmetic result. 
  • Repeat this daily; morning and evening for one to two weeks.  

You may have been given an alternative wound care plan after your surgery depending on the type of surgery you have had. Please follow the advised care plan carefully to ensure the best healing. 

  • If a scab forms, do not pick at it. To remove the scab you will need to regularly soak the scab in fresh flowing water such as the shower and apply generous amounts of the antibiotic ointment and/or Vaseline. The scab should eventually soften and come away. 
  • You do not need to reapply fresh dressing to the area (unless it is going to catch on clothes) 
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