1. Please plan to spend at least two to three hours at the office. As most of the time will be spent waiting while we study the tissue, it is helpful to have a book to read. You may bring one other person to stay with you during the wait. We request that you do not drive alone.
GENERAL WOUND CARE
If you have some discomfort following surgery, take two extra-strength Tylenol every 4 to 6 hours, but do not take aspirin or aspirin containing products (such as Alka-Seltzer, Anacin, Excedrin, Advil, Bufferin, Empirin Compound and many “cold pills”).
Rest. Avoid strenuous exercise, bending, straining or lifting any heavy objects for as long as you have stitches, usually 7 days. Sometimes these motions cam start bleeding from the incision.
If you have had facial surgery, sleep with your head elevated on two pillows; it will help to decrease any swelling that might occur after surgery. If you have had surgery on your lower or upper lip it is extremely important to eat soft foods for the first few days after surgery. Do not use a straw for 48 hours. Remove your dressing before meals – this will make eating and drinking easier for you. Ice can also be applied intermittently to the incision site. Clean the lip area and replace dressing after eating.
BANDAGE CHANGING INFORMATION
Remove the old bandage and gently clean the area with tap water using either a gauze pad or a Q-tip, then pat dry. You may shower daily and let the shower water GENTLY cleanse your wound. Gently apply Polysporin antibiotic ointment to the wound. A light coat is applied easily with a Q-tip. Cover the wound with a light gauze dressing and two pieces of paper tape. Avoid adhesive tape, which is likely to irritate the surrounding normal skin. It is important to keep your wound covered. Keep the area dry. Clean area once a day and apply a clean fresh dressing. Remove the bandage before showering in order to clean off the area. Wounds which are constantly wet tend to get infected.
You will return to our office for suture removal by the nurse.
If you have hidden absorbable stitches only with Steristrips, remove
Gauze and tape in the morning. Leave the Steristrips on for 7 days then gently remove.
In about 4 weeks, some patients may develop a pimple along the stitches. If this should occur, please call the office. Your wound is not infected, but rather a buried stitch has not been absorbed by your body.
The Dressing should remain in place overnight. If the dressing comes loose before then, re-tape it carefully.
Once a day, cleanse the wound with tap water, DO NOT use alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. DO NOT be afraid to wipe the wound carefully and cleanse away crust drainage that may be present. The wound may be tender and may bleed slightly the first day. It may seep fluid the first few days. It is normal to have a little oozing or spot bleeding everyday until the wound is healed. Your wound will heal better if all crusts and scabs are removed. For stubborn crusting, place gauze, wet with water, over the wound for 5 minutes to soak and loosen debris. Pat dry.
Apply a thin layer of Vaseline over the wound and cover the wound with a Telfa non-stick dressing, or a piece of gauze and paper tape. It is important to keep the wound covered. Do not allow it to be exposed to air. The wound heals in from the sides and bottom so the last part to heal in will be the very center wound.
You may shower and allow the wound to get wet; however, do not let the forceful stream of the shower hit the wound directly.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call us at (845) 220-2200. We want you to feel as comfortable as possible.
Wound Care Instructions (Stiches)
The DRESSING should remain in place overnight. If the dressing comes loose before then, re-tape it carefully.
Where is the other skin cancer likely to occur?
What are the warning signs?
The warning signs of melanoma include: any change in the color, shape or size of a mole; a mole that itches or begins to bleed or crust; or a new mole that appears unusual. These should be evaluated immediately. Remember that most melanomas are virtually completely curable in the earliest stages if diagnosed and treated promptly.
What are the chances that the cancer that has been removed by the Mohs surgery will come back?
Since skin cancer is related to sun exposure, do I now have to stay out of the sun completely?
Is there anything else I can do to minimize my risk of getting other skin cancer?
How often should I be checked out for skin cancer?
Because you have already had one skin cancer, an annual full body skin examination is recommended by most dermatologists.
After you’re discharged from our care, be certain to follow-up with the doctor who referred you to us so that he or she may examine you for any new signs of skin cancer.
How often will I have to come back to the office after my surgery?
What is going to happen to my scar?
Occasionally superficial skin nerves are cut during surgery, which results in localized numbness or loss of sensation to a small area around the surgery site. The nerves will grow back but the time for this to happen will vary. In addition to numbness, as the healing process proceeds you may feel tingling and/or itching. This may last 6 months or more after surgery, but everyone is different and the duration of these symptoms can vary markedly among individuals.
Will there be changes in skin color associated with the surgery?
Remember: If you have any questions about your surgery, do not hesitate to call. If we are unavailable at the time, please leave your name and number with our receptionist and we will return your call as soon as possible.