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 Plastic surgery is a medical specialty concerned with restoration of form and function.

Biopsy

Following your operation you should expect:

1. Oozing and even bleeding. This is normal. If and when this occurs you should:

APPLY FIRM PRESSURE WITH A COOL PACK (for 15 to 20 minutes each hour) and KEEP THE AREA ELEVATED

You should find that the bleeding will settle with 15-20 minutes of continuous pressure. (Use a clock to time this — 20 minutes is a long time!)

2. Some pain and discomfort is expected once the local anaesthetic wears off. Take Paracetamol as soon as practical after your procedure, then as needed. Applying a COOL PACK and PRESSURE helps treat the discomfort.

3. Bruising is normal. This will worsen over the first two days then begin to settle.

SHAVE BIOPSY

You MUST keep your wounds clean and dry for the first 48 hours. You can then remove the dressing. The inner layer may be quite stuck - soak it off in the shower. Apply Vaseline to the area three (3) times a day for 1 week, or until healed.

The biopsy site will gradually heal and initially be a light pink—red colour which may take a few weeks to months to fade.

Generally, the Shave biopsy site will look very much like the surrounding skin though it may sometimes be a little lighter in colour.

PUNCH BIOPSY

You must keep your wounds clean and dry for the first 24 hours and apply vaseline 3 times per day. The stitch will need to be removed 5-7 days after surgery.

The biopsy site will usually have small scab on it when the dressing is removed.

This will gradually heal and contract over time till it looks much like a prominent pore.

Sometimes there may be a suture to be removed from the graft site. Dr Rowe or his nurse will discuss this with you of need be.

MASSAGE

Massaging your scar is important to achieve the optimal result. It will also give you the best possible scar in the shortest time.

You will find that the wound scar will thicken over the first 4 to 6 weeks postoperatively. Massaging will help settle this.

The scar is often also red. This is normal. It simply reflects an increased blood supply to the scar during the maturation phase.

Starting one week after the procedure you should start massaging the wound with Vaseline.

You should massage the scar for at least 5 minutes twice a day. In the first week of massaging you should massage in a soft circular motion.

In the second and subsequent weeks you should massage firmly, applying pressure to the scar. Where possible start applying pressure between two fingers, such as the rim of the nose, the ear, or the lip.

It is normal to expect the wound to be tender. Massaging will help the tenderness and sensitivity to settle.

Stop massaging the scar when the scar starts to soften and become more supple.

AVOID SUN EXPOSURE over the first 6 weeks as this can cause unusual pigmentation of the scar.

Makeup may be used to cover the scar as soon as it is all healed (generally two weeks).

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