• DRESSINGS: Leave all dressings in place. It is likely that your dressing has been sutured to your skin, and attempting to remove it will cause damage to the surgical site. Your donor site will also have dressings over it. The type of dressing over the donor site depends on the type of skin graft (full thickness versus partial thickness). For a partial thickness skin graft, donor sites will have a layer of dressings over them that are NOT to be removed except by Dr. Shoukas in the office. For a full thickness skin graft, donor sites have dissolvable sutures and a layer of steri-strips over them. These will be removed by Dr. Shoukas in the office. 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 & WATER ACTIVITIES: DO NOT shower until instructed to do so by Dr. Shoukas. You may
sponge bathe, but do not get the surgical area or dressings wet. Your skin graft cannot get wet, under any circumstances, until Dr. Shoukas informs you that this is safe. Any activity that submerses your surgical site in water is forbidden. This includes: baths, the use of a hot tub, spa, or Jacuzzi, pools, lakes, rivers, the ocean, etc. All bodies of water are full of germs and can lead to an infection.
• MAKEUP: You may not apply makeup to the surgical areas until instructed to do so by Dr. Shoukas.
• 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 use of any nicotine products. During your consultation and preoperative visits, smoking and nicotine related products were reviewed in great detail as to the effects that they have on wound healing. Nicotine causes blood vessels to constrict and thus reduces your arterial (blood) oxygen supply. Oxygen is necessary for normal wound healing and any lack of oxygen may cause your wound to heal poorly, slowly or may cause damage to the skin around the operative site.
• EXERCISE: You are NOT to resume any sports or exercise 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.
• 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.