EDS and skin surgery – what should my doctors know?
Among many special considerations for patients with EDS undergoing medical treatments, there are especially unique aspects to skin surgery or other procedures. If you have EDS, you may have noticed your skin bruises or bleeds more easily than others, and you are probably extra cautious to avoid injury because of that. You may have also noticed that when a wound does occur, the skin is very slow to heal or heals abnormally. But what happens when you need to have a surgery or other procedure on the skin?
For patients with EDS, we recommend that you tell your doctor / surgeon that you have special skin that is prone to slow or poor wound healing. If skin surgery is required, we recommend the following:
- More sutures should be used than normal – ideally there should be multiple layers, both below the skin and on top of the skin.
- Extra reinforcement is helpful – stronger and longer-lasting bandages, such as Steri-Strips, can also be used to help keep the skin together.
- Pressure bandages (thicker and larger bandages applied on to the wound site and left in place for 1-2 days) can help reduce the risk of large bruises (called “hematomas”) and other complications.
- Stitches should be left in for longer than normal – even up to two times the normal length (e.g. if stitches are usually removed after one week for most patients, they should be removed after two weeks for you).
Advise your doctor or surgeon to consider these extra steps when doing a surgery or other procedure on your skin to help promote the best healing for your unique skin type.
Author: Ashley Wentworth, MD
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