Postoperative Instructions: Scalp Repair

Print PDF
Clinic Name
Clinic Address
Clinic Phone Number
Clinic Email

1. Care of the Wound

  • Keep the Area Clean and Dry: For the first 24-48 hours, it's important to keep the surgical area dry. Follow your surgeon's instructions regarding when you can begin gently washing the area.
  • Gentle Washing: After 48 hours, you can often start gently washing the area with mild soap and water, but avoid scrubbing or applying direct pressure to the sutures and staples.
  • Hair Washing: You can wash your hair with a mild shampoo after permission from your surgeon, usually a couple of days post-surgery.

2. Drain Management

  • Drain Care: If a drain was placed, you will receive specific instructions on how to care for it. This might include measuring and recording the output, emptying the drain, and keeping the area where the drain exits clean and dry.
  • Drain Removal: The drain is usually removed when the output decreases to an acceptable level as determined by your surgeon, typically within a few days to a week.

3. Activity Restrictions

  • Rest: Rest is important after surgery to promote healing. Avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting for as long as your surgeon recommends.
  • Sleeping Position: Try to keep your head elevated while sleeping to reduce swelling. Use extra pillows to prop yourself up.

4. Pain Management

  • Medications: You may be prescribed pain medication. Take these as directed. If over-the-counter pain relievers are recommended (like acetaminophen or ibuprofen), use according to the package instructions unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
  • Ice Packs: Applying ice packs to the surgical area for the first 24-48 hours can help reduce swelling. Do not apply ice directly to the skin; wrap it in a cloth first.

5. Monitoring for Complications

  • Signs of Infection: Watch for signs of infection, including increased redness, swelling, warmth, worsening pain, or pus draining from the wound. A fever could also indicate an infection.
  • Bleeding: Some minor bleeding is normal, but if you notice excessive bleeding, apply gentle pressure and contact your surgeon.

6. Follow-Up Care

  • Staple and Suture Removal: Staples and sutures are usually removed in 7-14 days, depending on the location and the surgeon’s preference.
  • Check-Ups: Attend all scheduled follow-up appointments so your surgeon can monitor your healing process.

7. General Health and Diet

  • Hydration: Stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.
  • Nutrition: Eat a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals to help wound healing. Foods rich in protein, vitamin C, and zinc can aid in the recovery process.

8. Specific Instructions

  • Personalized Advice: Always follow any personalized instructions given by your healthcare provider, which may vary based on your overall health, the specifics of your procedure, and your recovery progress.