Post Op Recovery Instructions

For your convenience, Dr. Wendel provides the following post op recovery instructions to help you with your recovery. Some treatments, such as the nonsurgical procedures, have no down time. More extensive surgery may require a longer healing time and may have specific restrictions.

The recovery instructions below may be viewed in PDF format by clicking the name of the procedure below. If you have an Apple device, you can save the PDF file in iBooks for digital viewing at any time you wish.

At Dr. J. J. Wendel Plastic Surgery, we strive to minimize printed paper and keep the environment green. Thank you for choosing Dr. J. J. Wendel Plastic Surgery for your plastic surgery and aesthetic needs.

Drain Care

Wash your hands with soap and warm water.
Strip tubing three times a day (more often if there are blood clots in the tubing).
Grasp tubing close to body with one hand and pull toward body. With other hand grasp tubing below the first hand. Using an alcohol swab, pinch tubing tightly, sliding fingers down tubing, away from body.
Repeat 2-3 times. Be sure drainage is flowing into bulb.

Measure the drainage in the bulb by either using the calibrations on the bulb or by emptying the Bulb into small measuring container 3 times a day (more often if there is a lot of drainage or they feel heavy) Open small lid on top of bulb. Pour drainage into container. Squeeze bulb and hold while replacing small lid. Bulb should be collapsed to be effective. Pin bulb to clothing with a safety pin or place in cloth drain pouch.

Measure drain output and record amount each time you empty the bulbs. Hold container at eye level to read the numbers on the side of the container. Read the numbers in the milliliters. Record amount of drainage on chart and tally the 24-hour total for each drain separately.

Once a day clean drain insertion site with mixture of ½ water and ½ hydrogen peroxide. Apply clean, dry gauze daily around insertion site. Change more often if soiled.

Call the clinic when the drainage amount is less that 30mL/day for 1-2 days or as instructed by Dr. Wendel. You may see Dr. Wendel or one of his nurses to have the drain(s) removed at that time. Please note that if you have more than one drain in the same area, they may not all be removed at the same time.

Drain Site Care

You may shower 48 hours after all your drain(s) are removed.

The dressing that was applied to the drain-site skin opening can be left on for the remainder of the day or until soiled.

Starting the day after drain removal, remove the old dressing and cleanse the area with mixture of ½ water and ½ hydrogen peroxide. Apply the antibiotic ointment to the gauze or Band-aid and then apply that to the area where the drain was pulled. Secure with medical tape as necessary.

This dressing needs to be done daily for 3 days. If, however, you have fluid drainage from the site and the dressing becomes saturated, change the dressing again. This happens more often on the day the drain(s) are pulled or the day after removal.

By the third day after drain removal, the skin usually has sealed and you should not need to apply further antibiotic ointment or a dressing.

Depending on the location of the drain site, you may want to place dry gauze there to prevent clothing from rubbing on the area. For example, bras and pant waistbands can be irritating to these sites for a little while longer than those 3 days after removal.

For Medical Questions, Please Call

We are available at (615) 921-2100 Monday-Thursday 9:00 AM-5:00 PM and Fridays 8:00 AM-1:00 PM. After hours and on weekends, the answering service will contact Dr. Wendel or the plastic surgeon on call.

Print Drain Care Instructions

Scar Care Instructions

We are pleased to announce the arrival of Silagen SPF30, the first and only Silicone Gel + Mineral Sunscreen for scar refinement. We are one of the first offices in the country to carry this product. 15g and 30g containers are available.

Silagen SPF30 helps to prevent exuberant post-op scarring and reduces the risk of hyperpigmentation due to UV exposure.

  • Ideal for exposed body areas including face, neck, chest, arms and hands
  • Zinc Oxide sunscreen, no potentially harmful chemical sunscreens
  • Non-comedogenic and non-irritating…translation: it doesn’t cause zits
  • Medical grade silicone
  • Physician exclusive

Prevent Hyperpigmentation on Exposed Scars

  • Prolonged or severe inflammatory phase is believed to lead to excessive scarring.
  • Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) may occur in any scar, but skin of color patients (Fitzpatrick IV-VI) are at significantly higher risk. UV exposure will worsen PIH.
  • UV exposure on 2 week old post-opeative scars has been shown to aggravate the clinical appearance of scars, negatively impacting:
  1. Color
  2. Infiltration
  3. Size
  4. Overall cosmetic impression

Please read here for more or call our office.

Silagen® Scar Refinement System

Dr. Wendel recommends the use of Silagen® silicone gel or silicone sheeting for the treatment of surgical and traumatic scars.

This is a physician-​exclusive line of medical grade silicone scar therapy.

Silicone is considered a gold standard for first line prevention and treatment of thick scars and keloids. Dr. J. J. Wendel Plastic Surgery offers Silagen®, a 100% pure medical grade silicone gel, to give you the best possible outcome you can achieve.

Silicone gels and silicone sheets are well-accepted with evidence-based medicine to support them as recommended treatments for surgical and traumatic scars. Silicone gel is often easier to apply and adheres better than silicone sheeting, especially for areas of the body that move.  It is ideal for the face and other visible areas.

Silagen® is fragrance free and odor free.

Active Ingredients: Polymerized Siloxanes.


Silicone gel when applied to a scar forms a thin, pliable, invisible barrier over the scar, which prevents excessive transepidermal evaporative water loss (TEWL).  This keeps the production of keratinocytes in check, which in turn normalized the production of collagen.  It is excessive collagen which forms thick scars and keloids. When collagen production is normal, excessive scarring is prevented.



  • Wash and dry affected area
  • Apply a very small amount of Silagen 100% Pure Silicone Gel to scar and gently massage
  • Allow to dry
  • Use twice daily for 8-12 weeks for optimal results
  • Do not use Silagen 100% Pure Silicone Gel under Silagen Silicone Gel Sheeting or it will cause the Sheeting to lose adhesiveness
  • See package insert for further instructions



  • For external use only
  • Avoid contact with eyes
  • Do not use on open wounds
  • If irritation occurs, discontinue use and contact Dr. Wendel
  • Keep out of reach of children

For scars in areas exposed to the sun, we recommend Silagen UV Protection Silicone Gel.

For more information, please visit:


Dr. Wendel recommends all patients avoid prolonged exposure to the sun and use a sunscreen when outside, especially on new scars (that are exposed to sunlight) for at least one year after any surgical procedure. The SPF should be at least 30 or higher and preferably waterproof. Barrier sunscreens are thought to be better than chemical sunscreens.  Follow the application directions on the bottle.


A scar is new skin and more fragile than the surrounding skin. If you do not use sunscreen, the scar line will react differently to the sun than the surrounding skin. If you don’t use sunscreen, the scar tissue may become darker than the surrounding skin. This is called a hyperpigmented scar and may remain darker than the other skin. After about one year, the scar and surrounding skin should react equally to sun exposure.


Scar massage desensitizes and reduces scar adhesions so skin glides freely.
Rub in a circular motion on and around the scar with firm, even pressure for 5 minutes four times per day
You can start scar massage once incision is completely healed and strong enough to handle the motion (usually 2-3 weeks post operatively).
You may use moisturizing lotion, fortified with aloe and vitamin E to do the scar massage to allow ease with motion over the scar and prevent friction at the area.

For Medical Questions, Please Call

(615) 921-2100 Monday-Thursday 9:00 AM-5:00 PM and Fridays 8:00 AM-1:00 PM. After hours and on weekends, the answering service will contact Dr. Wendel or the plastic surgeon on call.