Is it okay to use ice packs on incision site? (photo)

I've been using ice packs on my pons area because it feels better. I just had my drains removed today and there is still some slight bleeding, which I'm covering with gauze. Is it still ok to use the ice packs for relief and to keep the swelling down or will it in some way hinder the incision cite healing process? Picture is from today after drains were removed, 7 dpo

Doctor Answers 2

Is it okay to use ice packs on incision site?

Your plastic surgeon will always be your best resource when it comes to postoperative care questions. Some plastic surgeons have very strong opinions... If you do decide to use either modality of ice or heat, please be sure that you do not place them directly on the skin and potentially “burn” the skin, which may be numb.
Best wishes.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Ice packs are usually OK if the skin is protected.

Always follow your surgeon's advice, but generally it is OK to use ice bags or packs as long as the skin is protected from direct contact which can cause frostbite and slow healing. I actually had a woman's husband put blue ice packs beneath an elastic strap overnight, and when they woke up the next morning, blistered frostbite injuries were present on both sites. This took weeks to heal and months for the skin discoloration to fade. So be careful.

And ask your surgeon first. Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.