After the surgery have someone drive you home and remember in order to have a good outcome you must follow all the instructions given by the doctor. Below is a guide that you can follow in your surgical scar revision aftercare including any concern that you may have with your health related to the healing progress.
You should expect the following symptoms after a surgical scar revision at the surgical site as well as at the graft donor site if you had the scar revised by your own skin graft.
Pain medication should help with the above symptoms but in case of a consistent sharp pain then you should go back to the doctor immediately.
The skin might feel itchy and appear shinny due to swelling at the graft donor site or at the scar revision site. However if the skin becomes hot and red to touch contact your doctor immediately.
To reduce swelling and discomfort, apply cool compresses (not cold compresses) to the wound site. Wrap the cool compresses in a towel before placing them on the skin. Do this for a maximum of 20 minutes at a time. Do not place the cold compresses or anything frozen directly on the skin.
The first 24 hours after the surgery
Because of the sedation you will need the care of an adult for at least the first 24 hours after the surgery and you also need to follow the following guidelines;
- After being driven home you need to get rest but this does not necessarily mean bed rest. Rest is crucial in the first stages of healing but do some light walking every now and then. Avoid stressful activities or anything that can stretch the scar.
- Healthy eating. Good nutrition is vital hence fluids are very important at this time. Go for yogurt, milk and plenty of water. Avoid alcohol, carbonated, caffeine and green-tea beverages.
- Elevate the wound site if it is on the lower part of the body. If it is on the upper side of the body then a reclined position should do.
- Change incision dressings. The wounds on the graft site and at the scar revision may leak some fluids after the surgery hence it is important to change the incision dressings so as to keep them clean and dry. However do not remove the steri-strips on the stitches.
- Wear compression garments. If you were given any compression garment make sure to wear it as directed to avoid raised or irregular scars.
- Avoid smoking. Do not smoke as it can impair your ability to heal following the surgery.
- Take all medication as prescribed.
The first four weeks after surgery
- You should be resuming your normal day to day activities but avoid strenuous activities.
- Tightness or discomfort and tingling will resolve within this time
- Continue taking care of the wound as instructed
- Avoid exposing your skin to direct sunlight, always wear sunscreen when going out as your skin is highly susceptible to sunburn at this time.
A month-plus after surgery
- Continue with the healthy eating, fitness regime and sun protection
- The scar should continue to refine. Contact your doctor if the scar appears to be raised, red, thickened or widen.
- Post-surgery follow ups are recommended
If at any time you notice something that concerns you regarding your scar healing contact your doctor immediately.