• DRESSINGS: Leave all dressings in place for 48 hours; if instructed otherwise by Dr. Shoukas you may then remove them earlier. In some cases Dr. Shoukas will change them for you in the office. When you are instructed by Dr. Shoukas to change dressings, make sure that you wash your hands with soap and water before any dressing changes. Always use clean or sterile dressings. If there are no dressings in place, always wash your hands before & after touching the surgical site.
• SUTURES: If Dr. Shoukas uses dissolvable sutures, these are placed underneath the skin (suture thread may be visible at each end) and will dissolve after a few weeks. They do not need to be removed. You MAY have a layer of Steri-Strips across the incision line which Dr. Shoukas will remove in the office at your postoperative visit. You may shower with the Steri-Strips and get them wet after 48 hours. If Dr. Shoukas uses non-dissolvable sutures, these are placed on top of the skin and need to be removed in the office by Dr. Shoukas. After removing your initial dressings you should leave the sutures open to the air. Be gentle when touching the operative site as your sutures are very fine and can be broken with excessive manipulation.
• TREATMENT OF THE INCISION SURFACE: DO NOT place any creams, ointments or scar reduction formulas on the incision site unless specifically instructed to do so by Dr. Shoukas. The only scar reduction treatment Dr. Shoukas recommends is SILAGEN silicone gel. Please talk to any of the office staff if you are interested in the product.
• SHOWERING: DO NOT shower until 48 hours after surgery. You may
sponge bathe but do not get the surgical area wet. You may NOT take a bath for 6 -8 weeks. Dr. Shoukas will inform you when this is a safe practice to resume.
• MAKEUP: You may apply makeup after your sutures are removed.
• SHAVING: If your surgical site is in an area that you would normally shave, DO NOT shave near it until Dr. Shoukas tells you it is allowed.
• MEDICATIONS: Take all medications as instructed by Dr. Shoukas.
• SMOKING: There is to be NO smoking or using any nicotine products. During your consult and preoperative visits, smoking and nicotine related products were gone over in great detail as to the effects that they have on wound healing. Smoking may adversely effect wound healing and cause loss of skin. Smoking reduces arterial (blood) oxygen supply which is necessary for normal wound healing. Nicotine causes blood vessels to constrict and interferes with normal wound healing. When blood vessels constrict there is less blood supply to the wound and therefore less oxygen for normal wound healing to take place.
• EXERCISE: You are NOT to resume any sports or physical activity for at least 2-6 weeks after your procedure. Your body is trying to heal internally as well as externally, and physical activity can disrupt the healing process. Dr. Shoukas will let you know when it is safe to resume any sports or physical activities.
• WATER ACTIVITIES: Any activity that submerses your surgical site in water is forbidden. This includes: baths, the use of any hot tubs, spas, or Jacuzzis, pools, lakes, rivers, the ocean, etc. All bodies of water contain germs and other organisms that can cause infection.
• TANNING: You should not be tanning in the sun or in a tanning bed during your 6-8 week post operative period or until Dr. Shoukas releases you. He then recommends that you protect your scars and skin from the sun with a sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 30 or higher. This is for two reasons: 1) the skin around your surgical site may remain partially or completely numb for several months or longer and you may not feel yourself getting
too much sun on the area, thus damaging your skin. 2) Tanning your scars while they are healing can cause them to pigment darker than your normal skin color.
✱Dr. Shoukas does not recommend tanning in a tanning bed or exposing yourself to the sun without a minimum of SPF 30 (or higher) applied to all areas of your skin.
If you have any other questions or concerns please feel free to call our office at 407-333-2518.