Before your operation

Please let the person seeing you in clinic know:

  • If you are taking Aspirin, Dipyriamole, Warfarin or any other blood thinning tablets, such as Dabigatran, Clopidogrel or Rivaroxaban. If you are taking Warfarin please have your INR blood test done two to three days before your operation. Please bring the result with you. If your INR is more than 3 we cannot do the operation. Please phone surgical admissions on 01935 384 926 to cancel your operation.
  • If you do not have your INR blood test done you run the risk of not having your operation on the day.
  • If you have a replacement heart valve (tissue or metal).
  • If you have a cardiac pacemaker or implantable cardioverter-defrillator (ICD)You will be advised on whether this will affect your surgery and any additional pre-operative advice will be given.

On the day of your operation

It is best if you have someone to come with you to your operation to take you home, especially if your operation is on the face. We would not recommend driving home after your surgery.Please eat and drink as normal and take your regular medication as normal, unless you have been advised otherwise.

The operation will be done under a local anaesthetic. You should be given further information about the type of procedure you will have. All surgical procedures will result in a permanent scar, depending on the size and complexity of the procedure.

After your operation

  • Pain relief: The local anaesthetic will wear off after about 2 hours. You may need to take regular pain relief such as paracetamol for the first few days after your operation.
  • Dressing: Please keep the dressing on and the area dry for 48 hours. The dressing can then be changed. You should receive any other information on your dressing at the time of your operation.
  • Bleeding: If you see any blood coming through the dressing, press firmly on the area, by the clock for 15 minutes. Do not take your dressing off but put an additional “pressure dressing” on top of the original.
  • Continued bleeding: If bleeding continues, please contact your GP or the A&E department and continue to press on the wound.
  • Wound discharge or pain: If this occurs, please make an appointment with your Practice Nurse at the surgery. If it is out of hours please contact the A&E department.

Removal of stitches

If you have had stitches, these will need to be re-moved, usually five to 14 days after surgery. This may be at the Dermatology Department or at your doctor’s surgery. You will be given further instruction about this at the time of your operation.

Return to normal

One week: Most wounds will have healed sufficiently that the area can be soaked in the bath.

Two weeks: Most wounds should be strong enough to undertake normal activities.

One month: Most wounds should be strong enough for lifting and vigorous exercise.

Test results

The skin sample will be sent to the laboratory for analysis. You and your GP will be informed on the result of the test, usually by letter, but please state preference at the time of your surgery. You may be sent a dermatology appointment for results to see a specialist nurse or doctor if further discussion is needed. The results are usually available after two to three weeks, but sometimes may take longer if they are discussed at the multidisciplinary meeting or if a further opinion is required.

How to look after your scar after removal of sutures

  • Always wash your hands before touching your scar
  • Wash your scar once a day using water and pat dry
  • Use a familiar moisturising cream to moisturise the skin surrounding your scar twice a day
  • Avoid picking or scratching you scar
  • Protect your scar from direct sunlight (use a sun cream for at least two years)
  • Keep clothes loose around your scar to avoid tension or friction which might irritate it
  • You can use cosmetic make up or camouflage cream over you scar

Scars will:

  • itch or tingle from time to time
  • go though a phase of becoming pinker or slightly red (week four to six)
  • be numb, and in some situations this numbness may be permanent
  • lose the skin pigment colour
  • have swelling surrounding the scar initially, this will start to subside after the first three to five days and thereafter any remaining swelling may take several weeks to go completely

Seek medical assessment and advice if:

  • your scar is excessively swollen, red, painful or there is discharge or odour
  • You are concerned about your scar

Please contact the dermatology department on 01935 384 871 if you have further queries.

If you develop an infection after your operation or are at all concerned about the wound area, please  contact your GP or Practice Nurse.

Review: 10/19
Ref: 15-17-102