Graft Wound Care
At Baucom & Mina Derm Surgery, LLC, we strive to support our patients at every step of the treatment process, from your initial consultation through your recovery. We know that for many patients in Atlanta, graft wound care is something they have no experience with.
We are happy to provide the following graft wound care information to help patients understand what to expect during their graft procedure recovery. We also advise our patients to contact our office if they have questions or concerns as they heal.
How to Care for a Graft Wound
Following your graft procedure in Atlanta, you will have two wounds: one on the graft site and another on the donor site. The donor site is where the graft is harvested, while the graft site is where the graft is replaced. There are specific instructions on how to care for your wounds in order to facilitate proper healing.
The following information is intended to help you achieve the best possible outcome from your procedure. Be sure to also follow any personalized aftercare instructions provided to you.
- After surgery, go home and take it easy. You should not do anything that requires you to bend, strain, lift, or cause exertion for several days.
- Wash hands before any dressing changes! After 2 days, remove the dressings. For the first few days clean the areas with hydrogen peroxide to remove any crusting or scabbing. Soak the wound with peroxide and remove as much of the crusting by gently rubbing the wound with a moist Q-tip or washcloth. After the first day or two, soap and water can be used instead of hydrogen peroxide. You may bathe regularly at this point, and allow the wound to get wet.
- Apply a layer of topical ointment over the sutures or wounds. If you have a history of staph or MRSA infections, please let your doctor know! GOOD DAILY CLEANING is most important, but a prescription topical or oral antibiotic may be recommended depending on the situation.
- Cover the wounds with a small dressing (nonstick gauze and paper tape). Very small wounds may have just a band-aid applied.
Note: Some graft donor sites will be sutured, and some will be open wounds (typically the ear). Follow the appropriate instructions depending on where your graft was taken from. All grafts are sutured into place.
Wound Care Basics
SUTURED WOUNDS: Repeat this daily until the top sutures have dissolved. (typically 7-10 days.) Once the top sutures have dissolved or any scabbing has resolved regular skincare and makeup can resume.
OPEN WOUNDS: Wash hands before any dressing changes! Continue daily dressing until healed. Please be sure to wash the area each day with soap or shampoo and to keep it covered until it has healed.
PAIN: Take 1-2 Tylenol or the prescription pain medication as needed. Do not take any aspirin or aspirin-like products for at least 48 hours (unless you are on thinners for a medical condition such as a heart stent or stroke) as these may cause bleeding. Minimize alcohol intake for 24 hours. Alcohol can increase bruising and may interact with your pain medication.
BLEEDING: Apply pressure to the area for 15 minutes. Time it! Repeated “peeking to see if the bleeding is stopped” will only allow the bleeding to continue. If the bandage is saturated it may be replaced.
SWELLING: Use ice packs for 15 minutes at a time, 1-2 times an hour. A bag of frozen peas or other vegetables can be used. Swelling at the site may take months for final resolution. The cold packs are useful for the first day or two. Elevating the wound above your heart can also lessen swelling.
BRUISING: Bruising may take 10-14 days to completely resolve. If you develop a hematoma or severe bruising, it may take longer.
SCARRING: There are NO “magic” creams to reduce scarring healing. Don’t waste your time.Activity Modifications
BATHING: For the first few weeks after your graft procedure, you will have to take sponge baths. After this period, it will be better to take showers than baths to prevent soaking your wounds. You may be recommended to cover your wound dressings to keep them dry. If you are cleared to wash your wounds, do not rub or scrub. Then, pat dry and allow to air dry.
ACTIVITY: To prevent the wound from reopening, avoid all activities that could stretch the graft site. These may include sports and various other types of exercise. When taking your pain medications, you may not be allowed to drive. You may need to take time off from work; ask our doctors about your timeline for returning to work.Supplies Needed for Graft Wound Care
Hydrogen Peroxide (removes dried blood/scabbing)
Q-tips or other cotton-tipped applicators
Ointment: Any of these: Vaseline, Polysporin, Bacitracin, or Neosporin ointment-note some people are allergic to ointment (usually Mupirocin) you may use that.
Non-Stick Gauze Pads (brand name: Telfa)
Paper Tape (brand name: Microphone); Band-aids can be used if the site is small.
***IN CASE OF EMERGENCY OR UNCONTROLLED BLEEDING***
Call (404) 844-0496 for instructions on contacting Dr. Baucom or Mina.
Compromised Skin Grafts
If your skin grafts are not properly cared for during the healing process, this can negatively affect the quality of your results. Skin grafts can be compromised for a number of reasons, including diabetic complications, infections, and radiation. Grafts that do not receive enough blood flow and inadequate oxygen can die or may require additional treatments.
How Much Does It Cost to Care for a Graft Wound in Atlanta?
The price of your Graft Wound Care will depend on several factors. The location and size of the wound, the type of anesthesia used, and the specific techniques required to safely and effectively remove the wound will affect the overall cost. The details of your procedure, including pricing details, will be reviewed with you as part of your consultation.
We accept several insurance plans from various healthcare providers. Contact your healthcare provider to inquire about health insurance coverage regarding your Graft Wound Care procedure.
Contact Our Office for More Information on Graft Wound Care in Atlanta
Our caring, experienced, and knowledgeable team is here to assist you however we can before, during, and after your procedure. If you have questions about your graft wound care instructions or any aspect of your treatment, please do not hesitate to contact our office.