Post-Op Instructions

 

Initial Home Care

Once home and comfortable, remove the gauze packs from the surgical sites. After removing the gauze, it is important to get food and fluids back in your system. Eat a soft to liquid diet while the numbness is present (e.g., yogurt, applesauce, mashed potatoes, soup, or a protein shake). NO STRAWS — the suction can encourage bleeding.

Take pain medication and antibiotics as prescribed once you have eaten. Prescription pain medication and antibiotics should never be taken on an empty stomach.

After eating and taking the pain medication, you may want to lie down with your head elevated until the effects of the anesthetics are diminished. Anesthetic effects vary by individual. Drowsiness may last for a short period of time or for several hours.

 

Plan to rest and take it easy for the remainder of the day. Do not work or drive for 24 hours following surgery.

Bleeding

It is best to periodically evaluate the surgical sites for bleeding. Extra gauze has been provided. If bleeding continues, place a piece of moistened gauze directly over the surgical site and bite firmly and with constant pressure for 30 minutes. Pressure is key to stopping the bleeding. This may need to be repeated several times.

A moistened tea bag may be substituted for the gauze. Dampen the tea bag, squeeze to a damp dry, place over the surgical site, and bite firmly.

Slight oozing or intermittent bleeding is normal. Repeated gauze placement is not necessary for this.

If bleeding remains uncontrolled, please call our office.

Discomfort

Prescription pain medication is usually provided to ensure adequate relief of post-operative pain.

Prescription pain medication should always be taken with food to reduce the risk of nausea. Please take medications as directed.

 

If you are able to take Advil® or ibuprofen, 600 mg every 4–6 hours can safely be taken with or alternated with the prescription pain medication. This will help control breakthrough pain.

If the surgery was not difficult, prescription pain medication might not be needed. You may use over-the-counter pain medication such as Advil®, ibuprofen, or Tylenol®.

If you are having difficulty staying comfortable or experience any abnormal side effects, please call our office.

 

Nausea

Occasionally, nausea may occur after receiving anesthetic medication or while taking prescription pain medication.

It is important to never take prescription pain medication on an empty stomach. Eating frequent meals and staying hydrated can significantly reduce the chance of nausea.

Should nausea occur, drink small amounts of carbonated beverages (Coke, 7-Up®, or Sprite®), as these help to settle the stomach.

Anti-nausea medication such as Promethazine® may also be used. Take this medication as directed: 1 tablet every 6–8 hours.

If nausea persists, please contact our office.

 

Swelling

Swelling will occur after surgery and will vary with each individual. Swelling is usually noticeable the morning after surgery and may increase over the first 72 hours. Swelling may be present for a week.

Cold compresses (ice packs) can be used to limit the amount of swelling that can occur in the first 48 hours. Place cold compress on the face over the surgical site. Alternate applications — 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off.

After 48 hours, it is best to switch to warm compresses (heating pad or a warm washcloth). Warm compresses will help soothe tenderness and reduce the swelling. Place warm compress over the swollen site. Alternate applications — 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off.

If swelling or pain is excessive, please call our office.