Patient instructions following skin surgery


For patients with sutures, you can wash the wound with soap and water. Please dry carefully with a clean towel and avoid rubbing the fresh wound.  You can do this 1-2 times daily.

Apply a thin layer of Vaseline over the stitches. You may shower as usual. Do not bath or go swimming until the sutures have been removed.

If you leave with bandages that are stitched to the wound (ie. stitched to a skin graft) please avoid washing the wound and leave the dressing alone. You can apply a thin layer of Vaseline to the edges of the dressing twice daily.

If you have steri-strips on the wound with dissolving sutures underneath, you can wash the wound as normal but are not required to apply Vaseline. Please leave the steri-strips intact until they fall off.


Swelling and Bruising

If you had surgery on your face, you may experience swelling and/or bruising in one or both eyes. The severity and duration of this swelling will depend on proximity to your eyes and the extent of the surgery.

Most people experience swelling on the morning following surgery. This typically lasts for approximately 3-5 days. Be sure to sleep with you head elevated (2-3 pillows). Do not apply ice directly on the wound.



Bleeding from the site is common for 24-48 hours after surgery. Apply firm pressure with a new Kleenex/tissue for 10-15 minutes. This should stop the bleeding.

If you take blood thinning medication, bleeding can last the 48 hours. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, call the office or go to the closest emergency department.



Some patients will get a wound infection from this type of surgery. You should contact our office if you experience any of the following for more than 24 hours:

  1. Redness that extends more than 1 cm from the edge of the wound
  2. Draining from the wound that is green or foul smelling (clear or straw coloured draining is normal)
  3. Fever
  4. Feeling unwell with chills or sweating
  5. Pain around the wound associated with increased temperature of the wound (hot to the touch)


Pathology Results

The results from the pathology can take 2-3 weeks. You should book an appointment for pathology results on the day of your surgery. If you are unable to do so, please call the clinic at 613-761-4025 ext. 3. Results are usually provided in person to ensure continuity of care.

You may be asked to call the office directly after 3 weeks 613-798-5555 ext. 13712. Pathology is provided over the phone only to patients who reside out of town and to those with mobility issues.


Follow-up appointment

If you have sutures which require removal, you will be seen in 1 week for facial surgery and in 2 weeks for surgery in other areas of the body. If your sutures dissolve, you will be seen in 3 weeks in order to receive pathology results.

If you need to change this appointment, call the clinic at 613-761-4025 ext. 3.