• DRESSINGS: If steri-strips have been placed across your incision line, leave them alone as they are meant to stay in place until Dr. Shoukas removes them in the office or until they fall off on their own. If you are instructed by Dr. Shoukas to change your own dressings, make sure that you wash your hands with soap and water before touching the incision site. 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 non-absorbable sutures are used on the outside of your skin, leave them open to the air and do not apply any creams or ointments unless instructed to do so specifically by Dr. Shoukas. Be gentle when touching the operative site, as your sutures are very fine and can be broken with excessive manipulation.
• SHOWERING/ BATHING: DO NOT shower for 24 hours after your surgery. You may
sponge bathe, but do not get the surgical area or the dressings wet. After 24 hours you may take a shower wet the area with soap and water. Carefully
dab the area dry with a clean towel. If your surgical site is located anywhere on your body (except for your face) you may NOT take a bath for 6-8 weeks post-operatively; Dr. Shoukas will inform you when this is a safe practice to resume.
• 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 may recommend is SILAGEN silicone gel. Please talk to any of the office staff if you are interested in this product.
• 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 this area until Dr. Shoukas informs you that it is safe to resume this practice.
• 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 on the inside as well as heal the external incision, 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 avoid tanning, either in the sun or in a tanning bed, during your post-operative period 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 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 the pigment in that area to become 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.