Care for Wound(s) Near the Eye or Eyelid
You have had surgery near your eye or eyelid.
Special care and good cleaning of the wound
and eye helps your wound to heal and prevents
problems such as infection. This handout tells
you how to care for your wound once you are
home. If you have any questions or concerns,
please call the phone number at the end of this
Supplies You May Need to Buy:
ξ Clean cotton swabs (Q-tips ).
ξ 1 bottle of sterile saline for contact
lens wearers (in a squirt type bottle).
ξ 1 tube Vaseline (white petroleum).
This may be provided to you.
ξ Telfa pads and tape
ξ Sterile eye ointment (may be
provided to you)
If your eye is covered with an eye patch, the
nurse will instruct you in any special care.
When to Do Wound Care
Start your wound care on
. Keep the dressing clean and dry
until then. Clean your wound times
a day until it is healed.
Care of the Wound
1. Wash your hands with soap and water.
2. Take off the old dressing. If it sticks,
wet the dressing with water from the
sink or in the shower.
3. Shower with the bandage off. Allow a
gentle spray of water to cleanse the
eye/wound for about 20 seconds. If you
cannot shower, use sterile normal saline
for soft contact lens wearers and squirt
saline gently over wound, rinsing it
daily. Normal saline can be bought at
most drug or discount stores.
Note: Gelfoam® may have been put
on your wound to stop bleeding. The
Gelfoam® will slowly come off as
the wound is cleaned. Do not force it
off. If some remains, it will fall off
4. Wash hands again with soap and water
before touching your bandage supplies.
5. Apply Vaseline® (white petroleum) in a
thin layer using a clean Q-tip .
6. Cover with a Band-Aid or Telfa pad
to soak up any drainage and protect the
wound. As the drainage lessens, the
wound may be left open to air. Be
careful when you put the Telfa dressing
on the wound. Do not let the Telfa
dressing rub your eye.
7. Use sterile eye lubricating ointment if
you cannot close your eyelid all the way.
ξ If your wound hurts, you may take
Tylenol® (acetaminophen) by
following the package directions.
Limit use of over the counter
acetaminophen if you are given a
prescription that contains additional
Tylenol® (acetaminophen). Do not
take medicines that contain aspirin or
ibuprofen while your wound is
healing unless approved by your
ξ If prescribed a narcotic pain
medicine, please do not drink or
drive while taking this medicine.
It is best to take narcotics with
food to prevent nausea/vomiting.
Narcotics may also cause
constipation. You may use over
the counter stool softeners as
ξ If you have a sudden increase in
pain that is not relieved by pain
medicines and ice compress, please
call the clinic where you were seen
(see numbers listed below). You
may have bleeding under your
skin and need treatment.
ξ Call us if you have any sharp pain or
gritty feeling on your eyeball (feels
as if something is in your eye), or a
lot of tearing or redness of the eye.
ξ Do not do heavy activity for the
first 2 days or as instructed.
ξ Do not lift more than 15 pounds
until your doctor says it is ok.
ξ Do not drive if your eye is swollen
covered, or you have any problems
with your vision.
ξ No swimming or use of hot tubs until
your wound is completely covered
ξ Avoid bending over, keep your head
above the level of your waist.
Swelling and Bruising
This is fairly common, but goes away in 2 to
Since your wound is on your face:
ξ Sleep with your head raised on 2
pillows to reduce swelling.
ξ Avoid bending with your head below
ξ Swelling around the eyes & neck is
ξ Swelling will be worse in the
morning and improve during the day.
Expect that swelling may persist for
3 days or longer.
Apply ice or cold compress to prevent and
reduce swelling if told to do so .
ξ Do not apply ice right on the skin.
ξ Ice should be placed in a plastic bag
then wrapped in a towel and applied
to the bandaged wound.
ξ Ice should be kept on for only 15
minutes at a time.
Do not use alcohol, aspirin, or medicines
that contain aspirin while your wound is
healing unless told to do so by your doctor.
They may increase your risk of bleeding.
If there is bleeding, you should follow
1. Press firmly over the site for 10
minutes (timed by the clock). If the
bleeding has not stopped, use
pressure for 10 more minutes (timed
by the clock).
2. If the bleeding still has not stopped,
call the clinic where you were seen
(see numbers listed below) or go to
your local emergency room. Have
someone else drive you.
3. You can reinforce the soiled
bandage, but do not remove it. You
could disturb the clot.
4. Keep your head elevated.
5. Use ice or cool compresses to slow
Infection is not common when the wound is
well cared for. If you notice any signs of
infection, please call the clinic.
ξ Fever greater than 101º F for two
readings taken 4 hours apart.
ξ Increased pain or swelling of the
ξ Pus or smelly wound drainage.
ξ Redness or spreading out from the
ξ Warmth around the site.
There is always some scarring in any
surgical site. Time improves most scars.
Cover-up makeup may be used after the
wound has healed. Sunscreen should be
used on scars after healing. Some people
may develop very thick scars, or keloids,
which may need extra medical care. Call the
clinic if this occurs and we will schedule you
a follow up visit.
If you have any questions or concerns,
call the Dermatology/Mohs Clinic where
you Phone Numbers
If you have any questions or concerns, call
the Dermatology/Mohs Clinic where you
were seen weekdays between 8:00 am-4:30
pm. After clinic hours, holidays &
weekends, the clinic number will be
answered by the paging operator. Ask for
the Dermatology or Mohs Surgery doctor on
call. Leave your name and phone number
with area code. The doctor will call you
UW East Mohs Clinic
5249 E. Terrace Drive/Madison, WI 53718
(608) 265-1288, press option 2
UW West Mohs Clinic
451 Junction Rd./Madison, WI 53717
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if
you have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your
doctor. This is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.
Because each person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care
team when using this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 10/2017 University of
Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing.