It is likely your surgical wound will require care during the week(s) following surgery. We will provide you with detailed written instructions after your surgery. You should plan on wearing a dressing and avoid strenuous physical activity for 1-2 weeks after the surgery.
Complete healing of the surgical site takes place over 12-18 months. The site may feel swollen or lumpy, especially during the first few months. Some redness may occur. Gently massaging the area and keeping it lubricated with lotion starting about one month after surgery will speed the healing process. You may have minimal pain that you can alleviate with Tylenol. You may also experience temporary tightness and itching across the surgical area as your wound heals. Significant blood loss is rare, but bleeding may occur after surgery. Bleeding into a sutured wound may impair good healing. If you experience bleeding, call us for instructions about treating the wound appropriately.
After the wound has healed, an indefinite follow-up period of observation is necessary. We will ask you to make follow-up appointments after two months, six months, one year, and at least annually thereafter. Once you develop a skin cancer, there is a possibility that you will develop other skin cancers in different locations in the years ahead. Should you notice any suspicious areas, such as areas that spontaneously bleed and do not heal after 2-3 weeks, check with your physician for a complete evaluation.
Subsequent Sun Exposure: If you use adequate protection, sunshine is not harmful to you. Approximately 15-30 minutes before sun exposure, liberally apply a broad spectrum sun screen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher to all exposed areas. Since many sunscreens wash off with water or perspiration, reapply after swimming or exercising. Wear a broad-brimmed hat and utilize clothing for further protection from the sun. Remember, sun exposure is most intense between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
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