Although not all of the following pertain to every type of surgery, you may find these instructions helpful.
1. CARE OF SURGICAL SITE: You should avoid eating and drinking for at least 2 hours after surgery. Smoking is not recommended, especially during the healing time. Do not rub your face in the area of the surgery. Complete healing of the soft tissues occurs in 6-8 weeks.
2. SURGICAL DRESSING: The surgical dressing or "Pack" was placed in your mouth to assist the healing process and to allow for more comfortable eating. This dressing takes several hours to harden, so care must be taken not to disturb it during this time. Do not “play” with the dressing with the tongue. If you lie down, do not lie with any pressure against the dressing. Occasionally, small pieces of the dressing break off in the days following surgery. If the uncovered area is small and feels satisfactory, it is perfectly safe to wait until your next appointment. However, if a large piece should break off, or if the dressing feels loose, call Dr. Kelley as soon as possible to have the dressing replaced. If it is necessary to eat before the dressing is replaced, be cautious of anything too hot, spicy, or hard to chew.
3. BRUSHING / FLOSSING / RINSING: On the day of surgery, teeth should NOT be brushed. Twenty-four hours after surgery, brushing and flossing of teeth and mouth rinsing should be resumed, but do NOT brush or floss on the surgical site or near the dressing. Use Peridex rinse as directed for 1-2 weeks after surgery. Within this time frame staining is possible and you may need to stop using the rinse and switch to an over-the-counter rinse such as Listerine. Frequent gentle rinsing of the mouth with warm salt water will aid the healing process and also help keep the mouth clean. Resume brushing and flossing of the surgical site after 6-8 weeks. If further cleaning of the area of dressing seems indicated, it can be swabbed gently with a cotton tipped applicator (Q-tip) dipped in water.
4. PAIN: A certain amount of discomfort or pain can be expected following all types of surgery. Usually, this is slight and can be controlled by taking Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen every 4 to 6 hours as directed for pain. Avoid clenching or grinding of teeth after surgery since pressure on the teeth with cause pain. If more acute pain is experienced, take the tablets Dr. Kelley prescribed according to the directions.
5. USE OF ICE PACK: When you arrive home after surgery, apply an ice bag to the face for 20 minutes, remove for 20 minutes, and reapply. Continue this cycle for 3-4 hours.
6. SWELLING: A slight amount of swelling and discomfort is expected following some procedures and usually goes away within 2-3 days. If swelling begins, it can usually be controlled by use of an ice pack or cold compress applied to the outside of the face in the area of surgery. The cold compress is applied 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off alternately for 3-4 hours. If swelling persists for more than 3 days, contact Dr. Kelley.
7. BLEEDING: Do NOT rinse mouth for the first few hours after surgery. Slow oozing (bleeding) may occur for several hours . If bleeding is excessive:
a. Apply dry gauze or a tea bag moistened in warm water on each side of bleeding area and hold with continuous pressure for 30 minutes and avoid spitting. Repeat if necessary.
b. Place an ice pack against cheek or jaw on and off alternately every 20 minutes for 3-4 hours.
c. Sit up in bed or prop head up with 2 or 3 pillows
d. If bleeding still continues call Dr. Kelley
8. WHAT & WHEN TO EAT: Eating should be avoided for at least 2 hours following surgery. For the first day following surgery, it is best to restrict yourself to cold fluids or very soft cold foods that require little or no chewing (for example: apple sauce or cottage cheese). Do not suck through a straw. Stay away from drinks with a fizz or acid like soda. Chewing on the dressing will probably loosen or break it off. For the second day following surgery, warm , soft foods such as soup are recommended. No hard foods should be eaten. When you must chew, chew on the side of your mouth that was not operated on.
9. POST-OP APPOINTMENTS: All scheduled post-operative appointments (usually once per week after surgery as needed) are for your benefit and must be kept in order to monitor proper healing.
Jello, Cottage Cheese, Coleslaw, Applesauce, Tuna Salad, Chicken Salad, Smoothies, Yogurt, Potato Salad, Ice Cream, Pudding
Soup, Pasta, Fish, Mac and Cheese, Oatmeal, Well cooked Veggies, Ground Hamburger ground up in small pieces
DO NOT EAT:
Popcorn, Nachos, Candy, Pizza Crust, Seeds, Nuts, Bread Crust