MOHS Post-Operative Wound Care Instructions

  1. Keep bandage clean, dry and in place for 24 hours and then remove.  You may gently take a shower after this time.
  2. An ice pack may be applied to the wound the evening of the surgery which decreases the chance of swelling and bleeding.  Put the ice pack on for 10 minutes out of every hour as needed.
  3. Cleanse the wound and apply another dressing using the following steps:
    1. Cleanse the wound/stitches with soap and water.
    2. Then apply a thick coat of antibiotic (Bactroban, Bacitracin, Polysporin) ointment to the wound.
    3. Cover the area with a Telfa or non-adherent dressing.
    4. Cover the Telfa or non-adherent dressing with 4 x 4 gauze.
    5. Secure the dressing with tape.
  4. Repeat dressing changes twice a day.
  5. Do not let the wound dry out.  Keep the wound moist with antibiotic ointment.
  6. Do not soak the wound during the first 2 weeks (no soaking in a bath or swimming pool).
  7. If bleeding is noticed, hold firm pressure on the site for 15 minutes.  This may  need to be repeated.
  8. Some swelling, redness and drainage of reddish/clear fluid is normal during the first 48-72 hours.  However, significant increases in swelling or drainage after 72 hours should be evaluated.  These later changes could reflect a hematoma (collection of blood) or infection and should be treated.  Please call our office if anything unusual occurs, or visit emergency room after hours and on weekends.
  9. Most patients do not experience much discomfort, however, if you do, take Tylenol.  Do not take aspirin as aspirin increases the chance for bleeding.
  10. Do not shave close to the wound.
  11. Avoid pulling/stretching the wound (tension).  The cosmetic result will be better if the area can heal with less tension.
  12. Occasionally a stitch will become unraveled and fall out.  This is not cause for concern.
  13. Itching around the wound may occur with healing.  This is normal.
  14. The skin around the wound may remain numb for months because very small nerves are injured during all surgeries.
  15. After bandage removal, please observe for signs of infection:  redness, swelling, increasing tenderness, drainage, pus, or red streaks.  Please call us at 632-5565, or go to the emergency room if these signs or other problems develop.

Home Care For Minor Surgery Patients

  1. Leave dressings on for 24 hours after surgery.
  2. An ice pack may be applied to the wound the evening of the surgery which decreases the chance of swelling and bleeding. Put the ice pack on for 20 minutes out of every hour as needed.
  3. If the wound should bleed, apply pressure by holding firm pressure over the lesion for 10-15 minutes. This may need to be repeated.
  4. Most patients do not experience much discomfort, however, if you do, take Tylenol. Do not take aspirin as aspirin increases the chance for bleeding.
  5. After bandage removal, you may shower gently with soap and water as usual.
  6. Keep the wound moist by applying antibiotic ointment such as Polysporin twice daily. The lesion will heal more quickly if it is moist.
  7. Occasionally a stitch will become unraveled and fall out. This is no cause for concern.
  8. Itching around the wound may occur with healing. This is normal.
  9. The skin around the wound may remain numb for months because very small nerves are injured during all surgeries.
  10. If you had removal of a lesion or had a biopsy you will be notified of the results at your next clinic visit.
  11. Some people like to clean the wound by using cotton swabs or gauze pads moistened with hydrogen peroxide and then pat dry which is fine, but not necessary.
  12. After bandage removal, please observe for signs of infection: redness, swelling, increasing tenderness, drainage, pus, or red streaks. Please call us at 632-5565, or go to the emergency room if these signs or other problems develop.

Biopsy Wound Care

  1. If the biopsy bleeds apply direct pressure to site for 10-15 minutes. Repeat if necessary. If bleeding cannot be stopped then come to the clinic Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or to the emergency room after hours.
  2. Wash area normally with soap and water and apply antibiotic ointment (Polysporin, Double Antibiotic, Mupirocin or Cleocin solution) twice daily. Cosmetics are fine to use.
  3. Cover area with bandaids if it will be rubbed by clothing or exposed to dirt. Otherwise leave area open to the air.
  4. If sutures were used, then no swimming or stretching of the biopsy site for at least two (2) weeks after stitch removal.
  5. Pathology normally takes 3-4 business days. We will only call if more work needs to be done, however, you may call us for results.