Postoperative Instructions - Local Or Skin Cases
- Eat lightly tonight. Avoid heavy, greasy, spicy foods.
- Resume regular diet as tolerated in the morning.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- No alcohol, including beer/wine, for 24 hours and while taking narcotic pain medicine.
- Activity allowed guided by common sense and discomfort level. Walking and stairs are ok. Have someone with you until you feel secure.
- Take slow, deep breaths and cough to open lungs.
- No driving while taking narcotics. Be sure you can twist and move comfortably before you drive.
- You may shower the morning after surgery.
- No tub baths, swimming or soaking for 2 weeks.
- After a sentinel lymph node biopsy, it is normal to have a greenish-blue discoloration of the urine.
- If your surgery was to the arm/hand or leg/foot, it helps to keep that area elevated.
- Return to work when cleared by the surgeon. This is on an individual basis as determined by job duties.
- A prescription for narcotic pain medicine may be given to you. Follow directions and use as needed. Do not take pain medication on an empty stomach, as it may cause nausea/vomiting.
- For milder pain, Acetaminophen (Tylenol) may be used, instead of the prescription pain medication. Some prescription pain medication, e.g. hydrocodone/APAP, contain Tylenol.
- Narcotic pain medicine can constipate you; drink lots of fluids, increase fiber in your diet, and you may use an over-the-counter stool softener or laxative if needed.
- Apply an ice pack to the incision area (30 minutes on, 30 minutes off) as needed while awake. Place a cloth between the skin and ice pack.
- The incision is closed with sutures under the skin. These will dissolve and do not need to be removed.
- You may notice bruising or skin discoloration around the incision area. It is normal to have a lump along the incision area. This will slowly resolve on its own.
- Remove the clear plastic gauze dressing by the 2nd day after surgery. You may shower with this bandage on. Remove the bandage if it gets wet under the clear plastic.
- Steri-Strips (white reinforced paper tapes) will be present over your incision underneath the outer dressing. Allow these to fall off on their own.
- You may shower with the Steri-Strips on. Do not scrub the area. Pat dry.
- If "skin glue" was used, you will not have a bandage. You may note some clear/white flakiness around your incision. Do not scrub this off. It will dissolve on its own.
Signs/Symptoms Of Infection
- Fever above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Redness and warmth at the incision site.
- Swelling extending out more than an inch from the incision site.
- Worsening pain from baseline pain level.
- Colored drainage, yellow or green, from the incision site.
We will call you with pathology results as soon as they are available. Please allow 5 working days.
Please call to schedule your postoperative appointment for 7-10 days after your procedure, unless instructed otherwise by your surgeon.
CALL THE OFFICE WITH ANY QUESTIONS OR ANY SIGN OF INFECTION. 443-574-8500