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Wound Advice after your operation

The local anæsthetic will wear off after a few hours.  Any
discomfort after the operation is usually mild and lasts only 12
to 24 hours.  If a
painkiller is needed, please take paracetamol.

Keep the wound dry for the first 48 hours.  After that, you can
bath or shower normally.  However, if you get the wound wet,
we recommend you dry it thoroughly before re-applying a dry
dressing.  You should avoid swimming until after the stitches
have been removed.

Any convenient dressing (e.g. a plaster or gauze & tape) will
help to protect the wound and keep it clean.  The dressing
need only be changed if it is dirty, wet or lifting off.

Any
bleeding or oozing after the operation can be stopped by
placing a pad of gauze or tissues over the wound and applying
firm pressure for 20 minutes or longer.

Swelling can be a problem, especially around the eyes.  It
tends to be worst in the first 2 - 3 days but should improve over
the following week.  If it gets worse or if you develop a fever,
please call us (see contact details below).  The risk of infection
is low but studies show that no matter how clean the surgery
is, some wounds will get infected.  If this happens to you, we
(or your GP) will prescribe you
antibiotics.  The scar will not
heal as well if your wound becomes infected.

Numbness in the area can occur.  It will improve with time but
this can last up to two years or longer.  Rarely, a
blood clot will
form under the skin; if this occurs you will have a hard lump in
the area for six months or longer until your body absorbs it.  A
blood clot is not dangerous, but it can be a real nuisance until it
goes away.

When skin heals, it does so by forming a
scar.  Every effort will
be made to minimise the
scar.  Often a scar may be barely
visible especially if the skin is wrinkled.  However, on the chest,
shoulders, back, arms and legs,
scars usually spread, often
becoming thickened and may be noticeable.

You should
avoid physical activities that might put a strain on
the stitches and the wound over the first 2 - 3 weeks as this
can affect the final cosmetic result.

If you have
stitches, they will need to be removed, either at the
hospital or at your local doctor’s surgery approximately 5 - 7
days after they were placed.  Please let the doctor know if you
are due to travel abroad in the next two weeks.

You may be prescribed an
antibiotic to smear over the wound
(such as
Chloramphenicol or Bactroban ointments).  If so,
apply it every 8 hours until the tube of
antibiotic is finished.  
The
antibiotics will lessen the chances of infection, keep the
scabs moist and also means that removing the stitches is less
uncomfortable.

If you have been treated with
curettage and cautery, your
wound will not have stitches and it will heal gradually like a
deep) graze.  Simply apply
Vaseline to the wound daily to
prevent the surface from drying out - which will promote
quicker healing and a better cosmetic result.  Any convenient
dressing (e.g. a plaster or gauze & tape) will help to protect
the wound and keep it clean.  The dressing need only be
changed if it is dirty, wet or lifting off.

When to Contact Us:

If you have severe pain, or prolonged bleeding that has not
stopped with firm pressure for 20 minutes, during normal
working hours, contact the
Clinician / Department of Maxillo-
Facial Surgery
or visit your own GP if this is more convenient.
Wound Advice After Your Operation -
Information For Patients
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