Routine Post-Surgical Instructions
Medications/Prescriptions for pain: All antibiotics that are prescribed need to be taken until finished. If you experience stomach problems or diarrhea from the antibiotics, eating active culture yogurt may help decrease the incidence. Pain medication is to be taken as instructed by the bottle. When taking a strong pain medication, working and driving should be avoided. The local anesthesia should wear off between 1 to 4 hours following surgery. It is important to take your pain medications before local anesthesia wears off. Pain medications should not be taken on an empty stomach as nausea and vomiting can occur. Sipping flat 7-UP, ginger ale, cola, or Sprite may help.
When taking ANY medication, if you being to develop a rash, itching, difficulty breathing, nasal congestion, or swelling of the eyes not related to surgery, STOP TAKING ALL MEDICATIONS IMMEDIATELY. If for whatever reason you cannot get in touch with our office, it is important to get to a hospital or emergency clinic to evaluate your reaction.
All female patients who are taking birth control should be advised that if the doctor prescribes antibiotics an alternative form of birth control should be used during that period of time.
Bleeding: It is normal to experience some oozing as well as pinkish saliva (blood mixed with saliva) and it may persist for 24-48 hours. We advise that you rest with your head elevated on two or more pillows for the first couple of days. If bleeding seems to be heavier than normal, we suggest placing a damp tea bag over the surgical site for one hour while applying pressure. It is also advisable to cover your pillow with a towel to avoid staining.
Smoking: It is important to avoid any smoking during the first 72 hours after surgery. Smoking can increase pain and lead to poor healing. The longer you can stay away from smoking, the better your chances are for a quick and easy recovery.
Ice Packs and swelling: Applying ice packs to the face over the operated area will help decreasing the swelling. You are to apply them for 20 minutes and leave them off for 10 minutes. The ice packs should be applied immediately over the next 24 hours. Swelling after surgery is normal. It usually takes approximately 3 days for the swelling to abate, or decrease. DO NOT apply heat for the first 3 days as this will increase swelling.
Bruises: Bruising may be present after surgery, but will subside over the next 5 to 10 days.
Sutures: Sutures may have been used as part of your treatment and you will be able to feel them with your tongue. An appointment will be made before you leave to return for removal of these sutures. Many times the sutures will dissolve or fall out on their own, this is normal as the swelling reduces of if the sutures placed are dissolvable. If a dressing was placed, it is normal for it to fall off on its own.
Rinsing/Spitting: Rinsing with warm salt water is recommended 24 hours after surgery, unless otherwise recommended by the doctor. While brushing or rinsing tilt your head to the side and let the liquid pour out of the side of your mouth. It is important not to spit for the next 48-72 hours as this can increase bleeding and possibly dislodge the blood clot, causing a dry socket. A dry socket occurs when a blood clot fails to form properly or is dislodged from the extraction site leaving the underlying bone exposed to air and food. Pain is associated with a dry socket; however, typically there is no fever and/or swelling.
Brushing: It is important to avoid physical exertion during the first 24-48 hours, depending on how you feel.
Activity: DO NOT brush the surgical site until you return for suture removal; it will help protect the sutures, blood clot, and healing site. Once you start brushing again, it is normal to experience some bleeding and irritation.
Eating: It is important to eat soft, cool foods for the first 24-48 hours. After this time period it is important to maintain a comfortable diet: fairly soft foods; staying away from sharp, crunchy food or foods that require a lot of chewing (i.e.: steak etc.). Suggestions : jell-o, yogurt, milk shakes (eaten with a spoon not sipped through a straw), ice cream, apple sauce, pudding, cottage cheese etc.
Body Temperature: Your body temperature might rise during the first 24-48 hours after surgery, but it should not get above 100.5 degrees. If your body temperature does above this, please contact us.
Sinus: If your sinus was involved in the procedure, you should avoid blowing your nose or playing wind instrument for a week. Using decongestant medications might be recommended.
After any surgery, you should expect to experience some mild to moderate discomfort, but you should not expect severe pain immediately following and during the healing period. You will experience the greatest discomfort as the anesthesia wears off. Therefore, it is important to take the prescribed medication before that happens.
We are truly concerned about your health and well being. Please call us at anytime because it is our wish to have you be as comfortable as possible while healing.
Emergency Contact Phone Number: 703-719-9305