Your facial wounds have been repaired with 2 layers of stitches. The deep layer is with a transparent suture that will dissolve. The superficial layer is with a blue or black suture that will need to be removed in 3-6 days. There will usually be a tape dressing covering the stitches, but this will not always be the case.
Initially, all the wounds will feel numb as the local anaesthetic is still in effect. Before the local anaesthetic effect wears off start taking simple, over the counter analgesia. These include paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (such as Nurofen, Voltaren, etc). Follow the instructions on the pack and only take them if you have no known adverse reactions to them. If you are unsure, speak to Dr Yang. You should also use ice packs on your wounds to help reduce the swelling. You can use frozen peas or ice packs wrapped in a clean tea towel or paper towel for 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off, when awake for the first 24-48 hours post-surgery.
It is normal for there to be some bleeding from the wounds for the first day or two. If this occurs, sit upright, place frozen peas or an ice pack over the region and put direct, firm pressure with a finger/s over the bleeding spot for 15 continuous minutes. This will stop the majority of bleeding. If it doesn’t, then contact Dr Yang’s rooms or his mobile. Failing this, present to the Greenslopes or St Andrew’s Emergency departments before seeing your GP. Dr Yang is responsible for your post-operative care, and the emergency departments can more easily get in touch with Dr Yang and manage potential problems.
Keep your head elevated during the day AND night. Your hips should be flexed to about 30 degrees so that you are sleeping in a semi-sitting position. Building a ramp of pillows, or sleeping in a Jason recliner can facilitate this. The elevation helps to reduce bleeding, bruising and swelling. You should continue this for about 5 days and nights.
The tape dressings should be kept dry for 3 days. After this, it can be wet in the shower, patted dry or blow-dried with a hair drier set on the ‘cool’ setting.
If the wounds are left uncovered, chlorsig ointment, Vaseline or soft white paraffin should be applied to the suture lines 3 times each day. These wounds should also be kept dry for 3 days, and then can be wet in the shower.
Try to refrain from any activities or positions that increase blood pressure. These include heavy lifting, bending over with your head down or significant straining. Dusty, dirty environments should also be avoided.
After 2 weeks, if the wounds are healed, massaging can be started. This should be done with the soft pulps of your fingertips. Massaging should be firm, slow and deliberate milking motion from one end of the scar to the other. Any lubricant, such as Vaseline, vitamin E oil or bio-oil ban be used. 30 seconds 3 to 4 times each day.
It is normal for the scar to be red and lumpy and sometimes tender for about 2 months following surgery. It will soften and become pale over the ensuing 6 to 12 months.
PLEASE REMEMBER: If there are any issues please contact Dr Yang or his rooms. He would prefer to know of any problems before you go to your GP as HE is RESPONSIBLE for your post-operative care.