Patient Resources

Wound Care

Dressings–Typical Wound Care

  • Keep the dressing dry during the first 2 days, cover with a bag when in the shower. The dressing can be removed in 2 days and the site can get wet in the shower with soap and water.  Do not submerge the incision in the bathtub, sink, or pool.  No sauna or swimming.

Dressings–Special Situations

  • Skin Graft Donor Site: Keep your post-operative dressing on for 7 days. If it saturates light wine color fluids, you can reinforce the dressings with gauze from any pharmacy. You can remove dressing in 3 days. You will see a yellow gauze (Xeroform) attached to your donor site. DO NOT REMOVE. You may shower and get the area wet and dry after showering. As your donor site heals like a road rash, the new skin will push the yellow gauze off.
  • Drain Care: you will need to empty and record the amount of fluid that comes out at least two times a day.  Please record the amount of drainage from each drain separately!  We will need to see the 24 hour total of each drain so that we can tell when we can take them out.   Please bring your drain record with you to your office visit.  The normal color of the fluid should be red, pink, or clear yellow.

Wound Care/Dressing Changes

  • Wound Dressing Changes: Please remove current dressings, gently scrub/wash with soap and water or do it in the shower and replace the dressings with a wet gauze (either bottled saline solution purchased from a pharmacy or use boiled tap water that has been cooled off to room temperature), then add a layer of dry gauze and secure it with tape. Please do this 3x per day (shower counts one dressing change).
  • Warm Soap Water Soaks: Please remove current dressings, gently scrub/wash with soap water and soak in warm soap water for 20 mins and dry off and replace with dry dressings. Please do this 3x per day (shower counts one).

When to Call?

Please call the office if you have any questions or concerns regarding your post-operative care. If any of these symptoms are present please call:

  • Persistent fever greater than 101.5 °F or 38.5 °C
  • Increasing pain or swelling not controlled with medications
  • Excessive drainage or bleeding on the bandage
  • Chest pain, difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting
  • Cold fingers, or painful fingers that are not normal in color
  • Increasing redness beginning 7 days after surgery