Surgical Care

Pre-anesthesia instructions

  • Have nothing to eat and drink for a minimum of six hours prior to surgery.
  • You can take necessary medication as directed by the doctor with small sips of water. Please ask the doctor if there are any questions.
  • Do not smoke for two hours prior to surgery.
  • Wear short-sleeved, loose fitting shirt.
  • Leave out contact lenses.
  • You MUST be accompanied by a responsible adult who will remain in the office and drive you home.
  • If under 18 years old, a parent or legal guardian must remain in the office during the procedure.
  • Leave watches, earrings, bracelets, etc. at home.
  • If you are having bone grafting or implant surgery, remove all make-up prior to surgery.

Oral Surgery Postoperative Instructions

Good postoperative care is important in not only decreasing postoperative pain and complications but also in improving the surgical outcome.

SWELLING, DISCOMFORT, AND RESTRICTED JAW FUNCTION ARE NORMAL AND EXPECTED therefore they need not cause alarm. These conditions may be minimized by following the instructions below. Please read them carefully.

  1. CONTROL OF HEMORRHAGE: Change the gauze pack upon arriving home. Slight bleeding is expected and desirable. Roll the gauze (as instructed) and place it over the wound with pressure. Change the gauze every 30 minutes to one hour until the bleeding has decreased. Avoid activities that cause a change of pressure in the mouth such as spitting, swishing aggressively, sucking on a straw. These activities will greatly increase and prolong the bleeding. Bleeding for 6 to 7 hours following surgery is not unusual. Assume a semi-upright position. Avoid excessive physical activity for 72 hours.
  2. CONTROL OF PAIN: If you have been given a prescription, have it filled and take as directed on the package. Make sure that you have adequate fluids or food in your stomach and are free of nausea prior to taking your pain medication. If you develop hives or a rash, discontinue all medication and immediately contact the office. WARNING: Do not drive or operate mechanical equipment after taking pain medication. The use of over-the-counter pain medications (e.g. Advil, Tylenol, etc.,) may adequately relieve minor pain when taken according to label instructions. Children and the elderly should receive smaller doses. Be sure to check the label and follow directions carefully when giving children medication.
  3. CONTROL OF SWELLING: Swelling is normal following surgical procedures. This swelling may be quite noticeable, but it does not necessarily mean that there is an infection present. Swelling normally will increase up to 48 hours following your surgery. The maximum swelling is commonly on the third day following surgery. Continuous ice packs are of value starting on the day of surgery and should be continued for 2 days. If you feel the ice is cold enough to freeze the skin, then 20 minutes on, 20 off should be done. Keep head elevated with 2 pillows while at rest. After 48 hours, warm moist heat and warm saltwater rinses will help to decrease the swelling.
  4. BRUISING: Bruising is not an unusual result of surgical procedures in the facial region. Bruising usually presents within a few days of the surgical procedure. It can present as dark blue, green or yellow in color. Bruising is influenced by gravity. If you keep your head elevated, it will help prevent the bruising from migrating to the tissues surrounding the eyes. Many times the bruising will spread down onto the neck and even appear on the upper chest. You can help minimize bruising by applying ice and pressure to the surgical region for the first 48 hours. After this period of time, heat and light massage will help to resolve any bruising that may occur.
  5. DIET: Be careful, you will be numb for several hours. A liquid diet is wise on the day of surgery. A soft food diet (for example, ice cream, pudding, scrambled eggs, pasta) is recommended for another two days. Increase your fluid intake. Resume your normal diet when you can do so comfortably.
  6. NAUSEA: Blood in the stomach will lead to nausea. Be sure to change the oral gauze regularly to prevent swallowing blood. Pain medication can also lead to nausea. Be sure that you take anti-nausea medication and have food in your stomach before taking the pain medication. A small amount of carbonated drink (i.e., 7-Up, Coca-Cola or Ginger Ale) every hour for a few hours will usually terminate nausea. Follow this with mild tea or clear soup. The doctor may provide you with a prescription for nausea. Take these as directed. If nausea continues, contact this office for assistance.
  7. ORAL HYGIENE: Do not rinse with anything in an effort to cleanse or freshen the mouth for 24 hours. The day following surgery, the mouth may be rinsed gently with a warm saltwater solution (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a large glass of warm water), after each meal and at bedtime. The teeth should be brushed lightly starting the day of surgery. Care should be taken to avoid the site of surgery. If you had implants placed, avoid using toothpaste that contains Fluoride. You can use fluoride-free toothpaste, baking soda or saltwater to brush your teeth.
  8. SMOKING: Smoking is extremely detrimental to normal healing. It is the number one factor that negatively affects any postoperative healing. Smokers are advised not to smoke for a minimum of 3 days following surgery.
  9. To help your body recover from surgery, avoid becoming over-fatigued. Go to bed early at night and get adequate rest during the day. To avoid insomnia, do not sleep excessively during the day.
  10. Vitamin supplements such as calcium, vitamins A, E, and C assist in the healing process.
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