University of California San Francisco

Post-Operative Guidelines

The following homecare guidelines provide general information to help you take care of your child after surgery. These guides are not meant to be a replacement for the detailed instructions given to you by your surgical team.

Contact your surgical team for any questions or concerns after surgery. Reasons to call urgently are persistent bleeding, worsening pain, fever, vomiting, or a red, tender, draining incision. If your child is experiencing an emergency, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency department.

Post-Operative Visit

A visit to our office is not always required, especially if your child is doing well after the operation. Ask the surgeon or nurse practitioner if a visit is necessary. If one is not, a member of our team will call you post-operatively to check on your child's recovery.

Activity Restrictions

Generally, there are few postoperative restrictions and your child may do any activity that does not cause pain or discomfort. The surgeon will advise you of any specific activity restrictions.

School Notes

If your child requires a note from our office, please notify us at least two days in advance.

Incision Care & Healing

Dressings and Bathing

Remove the gauze and clear plastic dressing 2 days after surgery. There will be white strips of tape over the incision called Steristrips┬«. These should stay in place until they fall off on their own. Post-operatively, your child may take sponge baths and shower. Typically, regular baths and swimming can resume 2 weeks after surgery.  

One Month Later

About 4 weeks after the operation you and your child may notice a firm lump directly under the incision. This is called a healing ridge. It is a normal finding and is an indication that the body is healing. This lump will soften and disappear in several months. In many children, the dissolvable sutures that were used under the skin, may come up through the incision. This is not dangerous. It usually occurs about one month after the operation and may be associated with redness, drainage and an opening of a portion of the incision. Contact your surgical team if you notice any of these symptoms. A warm wet compress is often recommended. If you have questions or concerns, please call our office to discuss them with a member of our team.