After Surgery - Post-Operative Instructions
Following these instructions carefully will help to make your post-operative course comfortable and will help to avert any unnecessary complications.
If you have any questions or concerns following your surgery please contact our office at 413-772-0735. If it is after hours, please contact Dr. Goldsher at 413-695-0175.
1. SURGICAL DRESSING
Following the surgical procedure a cement or plastic-like cast is sometimes used to cover the surgical sites.
A. Let the dressing harden all day before eating or drinking anything warm or hot. You may drink cold beverages immediately.
B. Loss of the surgical dressing is not uncommon. If your mouth feels comfortable, it is perfectly safe to have the area undressed until your next appointment. Loss of the dressing over soft or hard tissue grafts is more critical and you should call the office.
2. TOOTH BRUSHING & RINSING
A. DO NOT brush your teeth this first day of surgery. Avoid rinsing today, as well.
B. After the first day, brush your teeth normally except the surgical area. The dressing or surgical site can be swabbed gently with a Q-Tip to keep it clean and promote healing.
**Start rinsing tomorrow 4 — 6 times daily**
C. Unless otherwise directed, do not rinse mouth vigorously the day of surgery. After today, rinse several times daily, especially after eating. You may rinse vigorously using a glass of 50/50 warm water and hydrogen peroxide or salt water. Mouthwash prescribed by your doctor should be used as directed. Peridex 2-3 times daily.
A. It is always important to get plenty of rest with any surgery or illness.
B. Avoid strenuous activity today and tomorrow as directed by your doctor. Avoid heavy lifting and exercise for 3-5 days following your surgery.
A. Slight bleeding may continue for up to 24 hours, or so. This is not unusual and is no cause for alarm.
B. If excessive bleeding occurs, take a 2 x 2 piece of gauze and/or tea bag (non-herbal) and make a firm compress. Place directly on the area, which is bleeding, and apply firm, strong, steady pressure for 30 minutes. A gauze pack soaked in a strong solution of tea may be more effective. Sitting quietly in an upright position will also aid in the control of bleeding. If these measures do no succeed, call the office.
A. Expect swelling. It may take 3 — 4 days before it reaches a maximum.
B. Try to avoid sudden movements and bending. Try sleeping with your head propped up on two pillows for the first night only.
C. Ice packs should be applied to the side of the face approximating the surgical area. Apply for 15 minutes; remove for 15 minutes. Repeating this alternating procedure during the first day for 4 — 6 hours today. The second day begin with moist heat.
D. If swelling or bruising occurs during the week, apply hot/moist compress on outside of face.
The amount and duration of pain one should expect is very unpredictable. If you are having more pain than can be controlled with the prescription you may have received, it would be best to call the office.
A slight fever is usual after even a simple procedure for a day or so. Fever may be caused by inadequate fluid intake, as well. If excessive or at all questionable, do not hesitate to phone the office.
8. ALCOHOL & SMOKING
Concentrated alcoholic beverages can close down blood vessels and destroy blood clots. Smoke is an irritant to healing tissues and both will retard healing.
9. FLUIDS - **AVOID STRAWS**
It is important that fluid intake be adequate. An adult should consume 8 — 12 glasses of fluid each day.
10. DIET - **COOL TODAY**
A. You may eat most foods you desire but it is safest to favor soft foods.
B. Avoid hard, chewy or spicy foods. Citrus juices may cause discomfort in the surgical site. Rinsing with water will eliminate this discomfort. Foods with small seeds should also be avoided, since they may get caught under the surgical dressing.
C. A good diet is essential to healing, so be sure to eat well balanced meals during the treatment. Food supplements such as Nutrament or Carnation Instant Breakfast are highly recommended.
D. You will feel better, have more strength, less pain and heal faster if you continue to eat.