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Caring for Yourself After Your Excision or Biopsy

This information explains how to care for yourself after your excision or biopsy.

You had an excision or biopsy to remove skin or tissue. This skin and tissue will be tested to make a diagnosis. An excision can also be used as a treatment if it removed all of a suspicious area.

Follow the instructions below to change your dressing and clean your excision or biopsy site

Supplies

Gather the following items:

  • Cotton applicators
  • Gauze pads
  • ___________________________ solution
  • ___________________________ ointment
  • Adhesive bandages or wound dressing

Instructions

  1. Keep dressing on and dry for _____ hours after your procedure.
  2. Remove the dressing _____ hours after your procedure. If you have Steri-Strips® (thin adhesive strips) over your wound, leave them on.
  3. Clean the suture line (stitches) or wound daily using cotton applicators moistened with ____________________ solution.
  4. Gently pat the wound dry with a gauze pad. Do not use bath towel.
  5. Apply ______________________ ointment. Cover your wound with a new dressing. 

Follow these instructions for a total of _____ days.

Important Points

  • You can shower ______ days after your procedure.
  • For any discomfort after your procedure, you can take:
    • Acetaminophen (Tylenol®)
    • Extra strength acetaminophen
  • If you have any bleeding, press on your wound continuously with a clean gauze pad for 15 minutes. If the bleeding does not stop, repeat this step. If the bleeding does not stop after 30 minutes, call your doctor or nurse.
  • Do not do strenuous exercise, heavy lifting, or swim for _____ weeks /_____ days.
  • If you have stitches, make a follow-up appointment with your doctor to have them removed.

Special Instructions:

Call Your Doctor or Nurse if You Have:

  • A temperature of 100.4º F (38º C) or higher
  • Any of the following at your wound or the area around it:
    • Increasing redness or swelling
    • Increasing pain or discomfort
    • Yellowish drainage
    • Bleeding that does not stop after applying continuous pressure