Purse string suture requires specific post-op care. Proper care is key to the fastest and most optimal healing process. Follow our instructions below for the best care.
Purse String Closure Post-Op Care
- Keep initial dressing DRY and do not remove for 48 hours.
- After 48 hours, shower with the dressing on to loosen the adhesive, then carefully remove the white pressure bandage.
- Wash gently with mild soap and pat the area dry with a clean towel that has not been used on any other areas of the body.
- Begin daily bandage changes as advised at the time of discharge:
- If prescribed, apply a liberal amount of Mupirocin and Gentamicin ointments mixed 1:1. Squeeze a pea-sized amount of each ointment onto a clean surface and mix together using a cotton-tipped applicator.
- OR: Apply a liberal amount of Vaseline or Aquaphor ointment to the wound using a cotton-tipped applicator.
- Cut a piece of Telfa or other non-adhesive pad to fit just over the wound, and secure in place with paper tape. For wounds on the extremities where skin is delicate, secure the pad in place with a Coban wrap.
- Clean your scissors with alcohol before and after use. If wound is draining, you may have to add gauze over the non-stick pad.
- Continue changing the dressing daily.
If your surgical site is on the lower extremities, cleanse the area AFTER showering with Hibiclens (Clorhexidine Gluconate) soap, which can be purchased from your local drugstore
If instructed, return to clinic in 6 weeks for wound check OR send photos of the healing wound via Patient Gateway for Dr. Mosher’s examination.
How long should I continue changing the bandage?
Bandaging continues until new skin heals over the healing wound. Do not let the wound dry out and form a scab. Instead, keep the wound moist with ointment under a bandage to allow new skin to form.
The stitch in my purse string closure popped! What do I do?
If the stitch pops due to excessive tension, the wound can continue to heal by Mother Nature. Please call our office at 781-591-4234 to be seen for removal of the stitch. Continue daily bandage changes with ointment until fully healed.
What does “normal” wound healing look like?
You can expect to see minimal change in your healing wound for the first 3 weeks after surgery. A yellow substance may form in the center of the wound, which may look like pus, but is actually a normal part of the wound healing process called fibrin. Fibrin cannot be wiped away, and will dissolve on its own in a matter of weeks. Up to 1cm of redness may develop around the wound. You may begin to see small red bubbles within the center around weeks 3-6; at this point in the healing process, there are a lot of blood vessels at the surface that may bleed. If bleeding becomes excessive, first hold continuous pressure for 30 minutes, then call our office to be seen if you are unable to control the bleeding. Continue applying ointment daily bandage changes. If not healed by the 3-month mark, call our office to be seen for a wound check.
WATCH FOR SIGNS OF INFECTION: REDNESS, SWELLING, HEAT, PAIN, YELLOW (NOT CLEAR) DISCHARGE
If you experience any of the symptoms above, contact our office during normal business hours at: (781)-591-4234.