After your surgery you will have a clear dressing. This should stay in place for at least 24 hours. This dressing is designed to hold in any fluid that drains from your wound. This fluid contains substances that help your body to heal itself quicker. The fluid collected under the dressing may be straw-colored, pink, or red. It will look like a blister at the site of your surgery. This is normal. The dressing may be left on as long as it is completely sealed. If the dressing comes loose and fluid leaks out, remove it completely.
Each day the wound should be cleaned with either soap and water or with peroxide.
Plain petroleum jelly should be placed on the wound. Do not use antibiotic ointment (Neosporin, Polysporin, triple antibiotic ointment, or Bacitracin.) Many people develop allergic reactions to these products and it is difficult to distinguish this from an infection while the wound is healing.
It is not necessary to keep the wound covered after the dressing is off. If desired, the wound may be covered with either a band aid or with a piece of non-stick dressing such as Telfa and paper tape. Telfa and paper tape dressing is particularly good for people who are sensitive to adhesive.
During the first 24 to 48 hours, the wound may be uncomfortable. Tylenol extra strength ( 2 tablets every 6 hours, not more than 6 in 24 hours) or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) 200 mg (4 tablets every 8 hours, not to exceed 12 tablets in 24 hours) can help with pain. If the doctor gives you Tylenol #3 (Tylenol with codeine), DO NOT TAKE ADDITIONAL TYLENOL! Take ibuprofen instead.
After surgery do not do any strenuous activity with that body part until your stitches are removed. If the surgery is on your arm, do not play golf, tennis, weight lift, etc, until the stitches are removed. If the surgery site is on the back, do not do any heavy lifting, play golf, or tennis. You may ride an exercise bike, use a stair climbing machine, elliptical trainer, or run. If the surgery site is located on the leg(s), do not run, or lift weights with the legs. You may lift weights with your arms and do upper body exercises.
It is rare for wound infections to occur. If they do, it is usually three to four days after surgery. Instead of improving, the wound becomes more painful, red, and swollen. Drainage from the wound may increase and may become tender to the touch. You may see pus on the wound. If any of these things occur, call the doctor immediately.