The post-operative recovery period is an important time where meticulous care can maximize healing and minimize down time. It is for that reason that Dr. Harmon has developed a comprehensive plan for the post-operative recovery period:
- First, Dr. Harmon discusses the importance of eating a well-balanced, nutritional diet, and getting adequate sleep before and after surgery with each of his patients.
- Care of each incision is of paramount importance during the first 5 – 10 days after surgery. Dr. Harmon has instituted a suture removal protocol for each procedure. He removes each stitch progressively over multiple days, balancing the need for the sutures to remain in place until adequate healing occurs with the desire to remove them as quickly as possible to minimize the visibility of the incision. As a result, Dr. Harmon has an opportunity to evaluate and monitor the progression of healing closely in the first days after surgery. That way any problems or concerns can be addressed promptly.
- It is also important to keep the incisions moist while they are healing. The incisions are covered with an antibiotic ointment for the first three (3) days after surgery to reduce the risk of infection and keep the incisions moist. The topical antibiotic is then discontinued, and the incisions are covered with Aquaphor ointment. This is done because applying antibiotics to incisions too long can result in an allergic reaction - called dermatitis - at the incision sites.
- The incisions remain cared for even after stitches are removed. Dr. Harmon applies a liquid incision dressing in areas where stitches are removed. This liquid incision dressing also allows protective tape to remain adherent to the incisions, which strengthens incisions and protects them from the sun. The tape and liquid incision dressing are removed after all sutures are removed.
- Finally, Dr. Harmon ensures all his patients apply silicone-based gels and a mineral-based sunscreen to the incisions after all stitches are removed for weeks-to-months to encourage the gradual fading of the incision lines.
It is the above interventions that allow Dr. Harmon to deliver well-hidden incisions.