Skin cancer surgery recovery

Following your skin cancer surgery, incision sites may be sore, red or drain small amounts of fluid.

  • It is important to follow all wound care instructions such as cleansing and applying topical medications exactly as directed
  • You may be able to return to light activity the day of your surgery
  • Make certain to keep your incision sites clean and well protected from potential injury
  • Try to limit movement that may stress your wound and your sutures

Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period.

  • Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
  • What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
  • Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery? When will they be removed?
  • Are stitches removed? When?
  • When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
  • When do I return for follow-up care?

Healing will continue for many weeks or months as incision lines continue to improve. It may take a year or more following a given procedure for incision lines to refine and fade to some degree. In some cases, secondary procedures may be required to complete or refine your reconstruction.

Practice diligent sun protection every day of your life and quit smoking to insure continued healing and good health. Sun exposure on healing wounds may result in irregular pigmentation and scars that can become raised, red or dark. Sun exposure may result in a recurrence of your skin cancer, or the development of skin cancer in another region of your body.