Your hospital stay will be approximately 2-3 days and then you will be discharged home. Your neck wound will be covered with a water proof dressing, meaning you can shower and bathe as usual. If water gets under the dressing, it should be removed and replaced. The dressing can be fully removed, and the wound left open to the air after 7 days post-surgery.
You will notice the wound is raised and slightly red initially. This is because the sutures are subcuticular (under the skin) and are dissolvable. Your immune system will slowly dissolve the sutures over 60-90 days and the scar will flatten, narrow and the redness will settle. If the wound is uncomfortable and irritated, you can apply any moisturizer to soothe the irritation.
For the first 4 weeks you are provided with a soft collar to wear just when you are up and about. You should avoid driving. You should avoid extremes of neck movements i.e. looking over your shoulders or extreme up or down movements of your head. Light exercise by way of walking at least 30 minutes a day is all that is required for rehabilitation.
Mild discomfort and residual arm pain or numbness is common in the first few weeks. Please take pain relief if required.
An appointment for a one month review with Mr Malham will have been made for you prior to your discharge from hospital. At that appointment, further rehabilitation and return to work plans will be discussed. It is usual for light work duties to resume at 4 weeks, moderate duties from 8 weeks and full duties from 12 weeks.