SKIN GRAFT

What should I do right after surgery?

Leave the dressing on the grafted site (where you had the skin cancer) until you come in for you next appointment.

You may remove the dressing from the donor area (usually behind the ear, neck, shoulder) in 48 hours.

No ice pack is to be applied to the graft but may be used on the donor site 20 minutes 3 or 4 times during the first 24 hours.

If there is any bleeding, apply firm, CONTINUOUS pressure to the area for 20 minutes. If this does not stop the bleeding, call the office or report to an emergency room.

Do not take aspirin or aspirin-containing products for seven days after surgery unless prescribed by your doctor. Avoid alcohol consumption.

Elevate the area where the surgery was performed as much as possible.

No heavy lifting, bending over, or vigorous exercising that might put the stitches under additional stress and interfere with proper healing for the next 7 days.

Remember that full maturation of the wound usually takes three to six months, and that the initial pink color of the wound will ultimately turn white.

Remember to return to the clinic when scheduled so the sutures can be removed.

How do I change the dressing?

REMEMBER, DO NOT CHANGE THE DRESSING WHERE YOUR CANCER WAS LOCATED

At the "DONOR" site, remove the tape, gently taking care not to pull out the stitches.

Wet Q-tip with hydrogen peroxide. Using both this Q-tip and a dry Q-tip, swab the wound area until all old blood has been removed.

Apply Polysporin ointment over the stitches.

Cover wound with either a Telfa pad or sterile gauze to fit over the stitches and secure it with surgical tape. If the wound is small enough, you may use a sterile Band-Aid instead.

Apply Polysporin ointment to the wound twice daily if leaving unbandaged, to help keep the area moist.

Is there anything I should look for?

Observe the donor site every day for extreme tenderness or redness, which would suggest infection, and notify us if either of these should develop.

You should also notify us immediately if you notice any strong odor, a lump underneath the stitches, pus coming from the wound, red streaks, elevated temperature, pain not relieved by Tylenol, or if you develop a fever or chills.

If you are concerned, have any questions, or any concerns, please call the office.


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