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Large Mole Removal Surgery: What To Do To Help Prevent Infection And Obtain Fast Healing

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Mole removal is a simple outpatient surgical procedure, but caring for the site post-removal is still necessary to avoid infection and scarring.  The potential for problems increases as the size of the mole removed also increases. That is why if you have a large mole that needs to be removed, you should understand how to take care of the surgical site following the operation. Proper care will prevent potentially serious problems and provide your body with its best chance to recover quickly. Here are the supplies you will need as well as helpful hints to healing;

What you will need 

  • 2-inch gauze roll - These rolls come wrapped individually in sterile packaging and can be trimmed as needed for length.

  • 4-inch by 4-inch sterile gauze pads in sealed packages - If the area is small enough, then 3-inch by 3-inch pads are acceptable. Be sure to obtain stick-resistant pads whenever possible, as these will prevent painful "grabbing" of the sensitive tissues.

  • Saline solution - Ordinary sterile saline solution designed for use with contact lenses is a great wound cleaner and moisturizer. Just be sure not to touch the tip of the bottle to the wound, especially if it has been used with contact lenses previously.

  • Cloth bandage tape - Bandage tape can be helpful in holding pads and rolls to the skin, but keep in mind that wetness will prevent adhesion.

  • Plastic cling wrap - The means of compressing bandages and pads to provide maximum protection of the wound by holding moisture in.

  • Petroleum jelly - This is an alternative to plastic cling wrap as it also serves to retain moisture, so choose whichever is easiest for you.

What you should do

The key to a fast, full recovery from surgery is to stay on top of the self-care procedures provided in this article. Below are several helpful hints:

  • Keep the wound covered and moist- Even though some conventional wisdom holds that wounds kept open heal faster, some of the best available medical research suggests they should be covered most of the time. In addition, wounds should also be kept moist and not permitted to completely dry. That means that following surgery, you should be diligent about placing bandages that will provide a sheltered environment for the wound to heal. One way you can accomplish this is to use pure saline solution to moisten the gauze pads before placement. Don't soak the pads, as a few drops will provide enough moisture for them. Once the pad is dampened and in place on the skin, you should consider covering the area entirely using plastic kitchen wrap before wrapping the site with gauze rolls. The plastic wrap will retain the moisture and prevent evaporation; just be sure not to wrap more than one or two layers and trim away excess wrap.

  • Observe the wound as it heals - Unfortunately, covered wounds can still become infected, especially if they are neglected for a period of time. That is why you should replace the bandages on a daily basis, even if you don't think it needs to be done. Bacterial diseases can develop in the neglected environment and cause significant illness. As the wound heals, be on the alert for signs of serious infection: fever, painful redness around area, and discharges that are malodorous or filled with pus.

  • Clean the wound daily - Not only should the site of the excision of the mole be kept available, the site should be cleaned using saline solution. To clean, direct a flow of saline solution into the wound site and wash away chemicals, dirt or any other grime. Do not apply soap or detergent, and avoid the use of rubbing alcohol. Some chemicals can cause tissue damage and setback the recovery process. If you use petroleum jelly as a moisture retainer, then be certain to wash it off, too, before you put on a fresh application.

  • Apply direct pressure to bleeding - If the area begins to bleed, and it doesn't stop within a few minutes, you will need to take action to prevent too much blood loss. Place several 4-inch by 4-inch gauze pads on top of the wound site and hold it firmly in position with the palm of your hand. If the gauze becomes too soaked, apply more pads and continue applying pressure on top of the old ones. Don't rip away a pad, or you may dislodge a clot.