What to expect
The majority of our patients report only minor post-operative discomfort and are able to return to their routine activities (with the exception of rigorous exercise) the day following the procedure. All of our patients go home with a post-op care bag that includes a gel ice pack. Many of our patients like to stop by one of the local frozen juice places on the way home (just remember, no straws!).
If you have any questions or concerns whatsoever, we encourage you to call our office at any time. An emergency number is always available on our after-hours recording.
Taking all medications as prescribed will aid tremendously in your post-op comfort and healing, as well as following the post-operative instructions below:
SWELLING: Swelling following surgery is common and usually peaks on the third day. In order to reduce swelling, use ice packs, alternating 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off, for the first 12 hours. Keep your head elevated and use an extra pillow when sleeping. Some bruising, discoloration and/or swelling are not uncommon.
BLEEDING: Minor bleeding is common. In an effort to avoid causing bleeding, do not rinse or swish vigorously for the first 2-3 days. Holding ice-cold water in your mouth and allowing it to drain out with no forceful rinsing or spitting may be helpful. Do not use a straw when drinking. Try not to irritate the surgical site when eating or brushing.
You can control bleeding by applying pressure directly to the site of the bleeding using gauze, a tea bag, or a washcloth. In order to be effective, the pressure must be applied directly to the site of the bleeding, so look in the mirror to see where the bleeding is coming from. Hold the pressure continuously for 15-20 minutes and re-apply as needed. Keep your head elevated for the first few days; sleep with an extra pillow.
MEDICATION: Take pain medication and antibiotics as prescribed. Pain medication is most effective when an even blood level is maintained (as opposed to taking the medication AFTER the pain is intense). Antibiotics are particularly important.
DIET: Until comfortable, avoid chewing on the side where surgery was completed. Avoid hot foods and liquids for the remainder of the day following the surgery so as not to soften the dressing. A soft diet is recommended. Foods such as cottage cheese, oatmeal, soup, eggs, yogurt, pasta, mashed potatoes, casseroles, and fruits are more easily eaten. Avoid hard sharp foods such as potato chips, popcorn or nuts of any kind. Remember, adequate nutrition is essential for feeling better as well as for healing.
HYGIENE: You may brush your natural teeth but avoid touching the area of the surgery. Do not use a water pick and if electric toothbrushes are used, keep them away from the surgical site.
ACTIVITY: Take it easy on the day of your surgery. Avoid strenuous exercise, stooping or bending for the first three days.
SMOKING: No smoking for two weeks as smoking adversely affects healing.
DENTURES: If you wear removable dental appliances, keep them in place for the first three days (you can remove them for cleaning after meals but then they should be immediately replaced). If, instead, you choose not to wear dental appliances after surgery, be aware that swelling may prevent you from wearing them for a few weeks.
SINUS SURGERY: If your surgery involved the sinus, avoid blowing your nose for one week and do not use nasal sprays. Avoid flying or otherwise going up to altitude. In the event of a nose bleed, tightly pack BOTH nostrils, keep the head elevated and sit quietly for 15-20 minutes.
Should you have any questions or concerns during regular office hours, please do not hesitate to contact us at 310-534-5500.