Post Operative Surgical Instructions

These instructions will also be provided after the procedure in detail, both in writing and verbally.

Bleeding … Take the gauze packs out when you get home. Dampen folded surgical gauze with cool water and place over surgical site(s). Bite down to maintain moderate pressure. Change the gauze every 30 minutes until the bleeding goes from a bright red to a light pink. Some bleeding may continue up to 24 hours after surgery.

If bleeding persists or you are on blood thinners, dampen a teabag (cut off the string) and place over surgical site(s). Bite down to maintain moderate pressure for 45 minutes or longer. If bleeding does not decrease, contact the office.

Swelling … Some swelling is normal after surgery. To minimize the amount of swelling, place ice packs over the sides of your face (15 minutes on, 15 minutes off) until bedtime. Swelling may increase for up to 2–3 days and begin to disappear in 4–5 days.

Fever… A low grade fever is common for the first two days after surgery.

Medications … Take medications as directed. Be sure to take medication before local anesthetic wears off, but not on an empty stomach. If taking Tylenol with codeine, Vicodin, or Oxycodone, do not operate a vehicle or work with machinery. Antibiotics may render oral contraceptives ineffective. Other birth control methods should be used. Do not drink alcohol while taking prescribed medications.

Diet … Eat and drink only soft foods and cold fluids (water, juice, sports drinks, Jell-O pudding, yogurt, applesauce, ice cream, milkshakes, etc.). Avoid hot foods and liquids while numb.

Smoking … Do not smoke for at least one week.

Rest … Rest today. Keep your head elevated above heart level, or sit in a recliner. No strenuous activity.

Stitches … If stitches have been placed, they may fall out within the first 24 hours or will dissolve in roughly 3-5 days.

Numbness … Some numbness in your lip, chin, or tongue may persist for a few hours after surgery. If numbness continues longer than a week, contact the office.

Oral Care … Do not brush your teeth, rinse your mouth or gargle today.

Complications … If high fever, continuous bleeding or severe pain develops, contact the office.


Diet … Increase your diet as long as it is comfortable (soup, pasta, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, pancakes, etc.). Avoid snack foods such as chips, peanuts, popcorn. Also, avoid foods with seeds, such as tomatoes and strawberries, for a week.

Oral Care … You may now brush your teeth avoiding the surgical site. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water rinses (1/2 tsp. salt to one glass of water) 6–8 times a day especially after meals. This will aid in healing.  Do this for 7-10 days.