What to do after Minor Surgery

A/Prof Dean White / Post Operative Care

What to do after Minor Surgery

A/Prof Dean White / Post Operative Care

As much as possible keep the area operated on elevated and rested (use pillows or slings to assist). This will help minimise pain or discomfort and decrease the chance of bleeding.Please do your best to keep the dressings dry, in tact and clean until your review appointment.

Minor Surgery Melbourne

Melbourne Minor Surgery


It is quite common for a bit of blood to ooze through the dressings. As long as this doesn’t become excessive, simple elevation will assist. If there is a moderate amount of bleeding this can often be stopped by applying gentle pressure for 10 minutes or so continuously (i.e. don’t keep checking it every 30 seconds).

If the dressings are waterproof you can get them wet (e.g. Showering) but don’t submerge them for extensive time (e.g. baths or swimming). 


The anaesthetic used for the procedure will last for several hours afterwards. It is important to be aware that you may not feel pain or discomfort initially, and as such may injure yourself after surgery if you are not very careful. Avoid exposing the area to significant heat or cold (for example tea or coffee after lip surgery).

Pain relieving medications may have been prescribed for you by your anaesthetist- please take these as directed. In other circumstances for pain relief use Paracetamol (e.g. Panadol) and/or Ibuprofen (Nurofen). 


As a general rule just be sensible regarding your activities after any surgery. Avoid excessive exercise and prolonged bending and/or stooping (e.g. gardening).

Driving should be avoided for at least 24 hours after any sedation or anaesthetic. After that time common sense should apply as to whether you are safe to drive. i.e. use of both hands, unimpaired vision etc.

It is recommended that, if at all possible, a responsible adult stays with you following surgery for 24 hours. 

Do Not Smoke

Smoking is associated with a significantly higher risk of poor wound healing, both in the short term (wounds falling apart, getting infected, grafts and flaps failing) and in the long term with worse final outcomes.

If there are any concerns following surgery which the above simple measures don’t address, please contact Assoc. Professor White:

  1. During Office hours: Monday to Friday 9am-5pm. Please call the rooms first on 9895 7631.
  2. After hours: Call the Paging Service on 9387 1000 and ask to leave a message for Assoc. Prof Dean White.
  3. In the extremely unlikely situation that you cannot contact Assoc. Prof White with these methods and you are unwell, please go to an emergency department or your local doctor. 

Please note – This information sheet is provided as a general guide only. The specific circumstances of your condition need to be discussed with Assoc. Prof White.

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