Caring for Perineal Wounds Mohs Surgery Clinic
This handout tells you how to care for your wound once you are home. We will go over the handout with you before you leave. If you have any questions or concerns after you are home, please call the phone number at the end of this handout.
When to do wound care
Your wound may be packed with a material called Surgicel®. This helps to stop bleeding. Do not attempt to remove it. It will slowly wash out on its own when cleaning your wound.
In the first 24 hours: Gently squirt lukewarm water from a peri-bottle after each time you go to the bathroom. Squirt from front to back, rinsing the perineum well. Gently pat dry using a clean cloth or toilet paper. Use a clean peri-pad to absorb drainage. Change your peri-pad at least every 4 hours.
After 24 hours: Begin your sitz baths. Fill the bathtub with lukewarm water (many inches high) and soak for 15 to 20 minutes. If you have pain or pressure, sit on a folded towel or use a “donut”. The warm water will cleanse and soothe the wound area. Use a mild soap and gently lather, rinsing well. You may notice the Surgicel® cotton (which may be brown-black in color) will rinse away. After you have patted dry, keep using the peri-pad to absorb drainage and protect the wound. Do your sitz baths 3 to 4 times daily or as often as you can handle it.
Supplies you will need to buy
- Peri-bottle (single nozzle squirt-type)
- Peri-pads (such as Kotex®)
- Soap, bar or liquid (such as Lever 2000®, Dove®, Ivory®, or Purpose®)
- A “donut” for sitting if you would like
All supplies can be bought at your local drugstore.
Avoid the use of alcohol, ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin, or medicines that contain aspirin while your wound is healing unless approved by your doctor. These may increase the chance of bleeding. If you do have bright red bleeding that is soaking a pad every 10-15 minutes, call our clinic or go to your local emergency room. Expect some drainage to be present. Drainage will decrease as your wound heals.
Tips to prevent bleeding
- For the first few days, prop your hips and legs up on pillows as much as you can.
- Avoid straining during bowel movements
- Avoid lifting
- Avoid tight clothing that will cause rubbing in the area of the wound
Take Tylenol® (acetaminophen) per package instructions or pain medicine as prescribed. Drink plenty of fluids to keep your urine dilute and reduce stinging when urine passes. Eat plenty of fiber to assist in normal bowel movements. Take a stool softener if needed.
Do not do heavy activities such as lifting laundry baskets, children, or any objects more than 5 pounds for at least the first week or as directed. No sexual activity for 1 week or until cleared by your doctor. No swimming or hot tubs until your wound is fully healed.
Infection is not common when the wound is cared for. Please look for symptoms below. Take an antibiotic if one was prescribed for you.
When to call the doctor
- If you have bright red bleeding that is soaking a pad every 10-15 minutes
- If you have any signs or symptoms of infection:
Fever greater than 101ºF for 2 readings taken 4 hours apart
Increased pain or swelling of the wound
Pus or smelly wound drainage
Redness spreading out from the wound
If you have any questions or concerns, please call the Mohs Surgery Clinic, Monday through Friday, 8:00a.m. - 5:00p.m., at (608) 263-6226.
After hours and weekends, if you have an urgent concern, call (608) 263-6226. Ask for the Mohs Surgery doctor on call. The doctor will return your call.
If you live out of the area, and have a non-urgent concern, please call 1-800-323-8942 during regular clinic hours and ask for Mohs Surgery West.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 05/07/2012
Copyright © 05/07/2012 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4230
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