A small amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery. Slight bleeding or redness in the saliva is not uncommon. First wiping any old clots from your mouth, then placing a gauze pad over the area and biting firmly for 30 minutes may control excessive bleeding. Repeat if necessary. If bleeding continues, bite on a moistened tea bag for 30 minutes. The tannic acid in the tea bag helps to form a clot by constricting small bleeding vessels. If bleeding does not subside, please call our office for further instructions.
A certain amount of swelling is normal after surgery and usually is proportional to the surgery involved. Swelling around the mouth, cheeks and sides of the face is not uncommon. The swelling will not become apparent until the day following surgery and will not reach its maximum until two days post-operatively. However, the swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs. Two plastic bags filled with ice, or ice packs should be applied to the sides of the face where surgery was performed. The ice packs should be left on continuously while you are awake. After 24 hours, ice has no beneficial effect. If swelling or jaw stiffness has persisted for several days, there is no cause for alarm. This is a normal reaction to surgery. Thirty-six hours following surgery, the application of moist heat to the sides of the face is beneficial in reducing the size of the swelling.
For moderate pain, take one or two of the prescribed paracetamol and ibuprofen combination tablets (Nuromol® / Maxigesic®) every four to six hours.
For severe pain, take the prescribed Tramadol® tablets in addition to the tablets above. The prescribed pain medicine will make you groggy and slow down your reflexes. Do not drive a car or work around machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more every day. If pain persists beyond the third day after surgery, it may require attention and you should call our office.
Drink liquids after general anesthesia or IV sedation. Do not use straws when drinking from a glass. The sucking motion can cause more bleeding by dislodging the blood clot. You may eat anything soft (eg: scrambled eggs, pasta, mashed veges, soup, noodles, ice cream, yoghurt, custard, jellies and milk shakes) by chewing away from the surgical site(s). High calorie, high protein intake is very important. Try to maintain a normal diet. You should prevent dehydration by taking fluids regularly. Your food intake will be limited for the first few days. You should compensate for this by increasing your fluid intake. At least five to six glasses of liquid should be taken daily. Try not to miss a single meal. You will feel better, have more strength, less discomfort, and heal faster if you continue to eat.
CAUTION: If you suddenly sit up or stand from a lying position, you may become dizzy. If you are lying down following surgery, make sure you sit for one minute before standing.
No rinsing of any kind should be performed until the day following surgery. You can brush your teeth the night of surgery but rinse gently. The day after surgery you should begin rinsing at least five to six times a day with a cup of warm water mixed with a teaspoon of salt (or an antiseptic mouthwash, if prescribed), especially after eating.
In some cases, discoloration of the skin follows swelling. The development of black, blue, green, or yellow discoloration is due to blood spreading beneath the tissues. This is a normal postoperative occurrence, which may occur two to three days post-operatively. Moist heat applied to the area may speed up the removal of the discoloration.
Antibiotics will be given to help prevent infection. Discontinue antibiotic use in the event of a rash or other unfavorable reaction. Call the office if you have any questions.
In the event of nausea and/or vomiting following surgery, do not take anything by mouth for at least an hour including the prescribed medicine. You should then sip on Coke, tea, or ginger ale. You should sip slowly over a 15-minute period. When the nausea subsides, you can begin taking solid foods and the prescribed medicine.
Sutures are placed in the area of surgery to minimize post-operative bleeding and to help healing. Sometimes they become dislodged. This is no cause for alarm. Just remove the suture from your mouth and discard it.
The sutures used in the front part of the upper jaw are generally not dissolvable; these sutures are removed after 10-14 days.