Depending on the procedure, mild bleeding may occur for a few days following the surgery. To control the bleeding, apply pressure by biting on damp gauze placed directly on the wound.
Bruising is a normal part of the healing process. It is caused by blood cells leaking into the surrounding tissue, neck, or upper chest.
For 3-5 days following surgery, your diet should consist of soft, bland foods. Drink plenty of fluids. Do not use a straw for at least two weeks.For the first day or two, drink clear liquids such as apple juice, clear soup and soda. Progress to soft foods such as mashed potatoes, apple sauce and eggs. Do not eat food with small particles such as popcorn or potato chips.
On the day of surgery avoid rinsing your mouth or brushing your teeth. Do not spit for at least two weeks as this could dislodge the blood clot. During the week following your surgery, keep the surgical site clean by rinsing gently with warm salt water (1 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water) at least three times daily. You may begin brushing your teeth on the day after surgery, but do not brush at the surgical site.
Redness and swelling around the surgical site is normal and should begin to diminish after a week. However, if redness and swelling persist and are accompanied by a fever, or if you develope new pain or swelling, contact us immediately.
If you feel nauseous following surgery, try drinking small amounts of carbonated (seltzer) water or ginger ale over five hours. Should you continue to vomit or feel nauseous, please contact us.
Pain medication should be taken as directed. If you develope an allergic reaction such as hives or a rash, contact us. Patients taking narcotic medication should eat before each dose and should not drive. Do not drink alcohol while taking any pain medication.
Do not smoke for at least one week following surgery. Smoking significantly delays healing, increases pain and the risk of infections, and can dislodge the blood clot leaving exposed bone.
Stiffness is a normal part of the initial healing stages. Try exercising your mouth by opening it as widely as possible. Warm salt water rinses should also help. Stiffness should subside within a few days.
When you return home from surgery, apply an ice pack to your face over the surgical site. Apply for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for the rest of the day. Ice will help control swelling, but using it longer will interfere with healing. The amount of swelling differs depending on the type and extent of surgery and will begin to subside after two or three days.