Caring for Your Wound after Your Excision in the Gastric Mixed Tumor Service

This information will help you care for your wound after your excision in the Gastric Mixed Tumor Service.

You had procedure to remove a suspicious area of skin or tissue. This procedure is called an excision.

Your wound was closed with sutures (stitches). Caring for your wound is important to help prevent infection and promote healing. Your nurse will review these instructions with you before you go home.

Caring for Your Wound

  • You can remove your bandage _____ hours after your procedure. You may see bloodstains on the bandage. This is normal.
  • Your wound may look different than the skin around it. This is normal and will get better with time. While it’s healing, your wound may look: 
    • Red
    • Tender
    • Black
    • Bruised
  • Your wound site may be covered with Steri-StripsTM (thin strips of paper tape) or Dermabond® (surgical glue).
    • If your wound is covered with Steri-Strips, leave them on until they fall off on their own. If the strips have not come off after 10 days, you may gently remove them.
    • If your wound is covered with Dermabond, don’t remove the glue. It will peel off on its own.
  • You may notice slight oozing from your wound a few hours after you procedure. This is common and not a serious problem. Apply gentle pressure on the site for 5 minutes and change the dressing if it is soaked.
  • You can shower 24 hours after your procedure. You can let the shower water run over your wound, but don’t let it soak in water. Clean your wound with soap and water and pat it dry with a clean towel. You do not need to put another bandage on your wound after you shower.

This is normal and will improve over time.

Unless told otherwise by your doctor, do not:

  • Put any creams, ointments, or lotions on your wound.
  • Cover your wound with a dressing or a bandage, unless your clothes irritate it.
  • Apply hot or cold packs to your wound.
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Some sutures do not need to be removed because your body will absorb them. Sutures that cannot be absorbed by your body will be removed by your doctor after your site has healed. Your nurse will let you know which type of sutures you have.

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You may have pain after your procedure. To relieve your pain, take over-the-counter medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (Advil®).

If you get prescription pain medication, take it as instructed by your doctor.

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You can resume most activities right after your procedure, but below are some exceptions.

  • Don’t lift objects heavier than 5 pounds (2.3 kilograms) until your doctor says it is safe.
  • Your doctor and nurses will give you instructions on what exercises and movements you can do while your wound is healing. Check with your doctor or nurse before starting any gym activity, such as running, jogging, or lifting weights.
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If your wound is above your neck, sleep with the head of your bed raised 45 degrees for the first 10 days after your procedure. You can do this by sleeping with 2 pillows under your head.

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You may have discoloration (pinkness or redness) at the site of your wound for up to 1 year after your surgery. Once your wound has healed, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to the area to protect it from scarring.

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Suture Removal

  • For nondissolvable sutures: Return to your doctor’s office to have the sutures removed in ______ days/weeks. If you did not already make an appointment for this, call to make one.
  • For dissolvable sutures: Continue to check the sutures until they are dissolved, which may take up to 1 to 2 months. It may look like a piece of small string at your wound. If the sutures are not bothering you, allow them to dissolve completely. If the sutures start to bother you, call your doctor’s office.
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Call Your Doctor or Nurse if You Have:

  • Yellowish drainage from your wound
  • A temperature higher than 100.4° F (38° C)
  • An area of redness or swelling bigger than ¼ inch around your wound
  • Increased pain or discomfort around your wound
  • Skin around your wound that feels hard or hot to the touch
  • Chills
  • Any of the following symptoms at your wound or the area around it:
    • Foul odor
    • If the wound appears to have opened
    • Rash 
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