Graft Wound Care
- 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 day/s, 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 of 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 guaze 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.
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 skin care 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 healed.
PAIN: take 1-2 Tylenols 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 stoke) as these may cause bleeding. Minimize alcohol intake 24 hours, Alcohol can increase bruising and may interact with your pain medication.
BLEEDING: Apply pressure to the area for 15minutes. 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-15 minutes at a time, 1-2 times an hour. A bag of frozen peas or other vegetable can be used. Swelling at the site may take months for final resolution. The cold packs are useful for the first day or two.
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.
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 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.