following discharge, patients should return home and lie down with
their head elevated until the effects of the anesthesia have disappeared.
Please note that anesthetic effects vary by individual and you may
feel drowsy for a short period of time or for several hours.
Until the anesthetic effects have disappeared please ambulate carefully
as sudden changes in position can cause dizziness and nausea.
Please do not take any of the prescribed medications for at least
2 hours following discharge.
If you feel nauseated, drink only clear liquids, such as ginger
ale. If nausea persists for more than 3 hours, please call the office
for further assistance.
Bruising around the IV site or facial region is quite common after
oral and maxillofacial surgery and will resolve spontaneously with
Immediately after Surgery
Following any oral surgery procedure in the mouth it is important
to minimize disturbing the surgical site(s). Bite gently but firm
enough to hold the gauze pack(s) in place over the surgical site(s).
Do not change them for the first hour unless the bleeding is not
being well controlled. The gauze placed in the mouth may be changed
after the first hour making sure that the new gauze is positioned
comfortably and over the surgical site(s). It is important to allow
a blood clot to form in the surgical site(s) to aid in your healing.
Start rinsing your mouth with warm salt water the morning
after your surgery. These salt water rinses should be done at least
four times per day and after each meal. This should be continued
for at least 2 weeks following the surgery. This will ensure that
the surgical site(s) will remain clean as food and debris may promote
Begin your tooth brushing routine the day after surgery.
However do not brush your teeth vigorously and avoid disturbing
the surgical site(s). Please avoid probing the site(s) with your
tongue, objects or your fingers.
Swelling and Bruising
Swelling is to be expected, and usually reaches its maximum 72 hours
after surgery. To minimize swelling, cold packs or ice bags wrapped
in a towel should be applied to the face adjacent to the surgical
area(s). This should be done for 20 minutes on, and then removed
for 20 minutes during the initial 72 hours following surgery. If
you were given medication to control the swelling, be sure to take
it as directed. To limit the amount of swelling, it is also advisable
to sleep with your head elevated.
After 72 hours, it is usually best to switch from using the cold
packs to applying moist heat to the same area, until swelling has
receded. Bruising may also occur, but should disappear seven
to ten days following surgery. It is also important to keep your
lips moist with cream or Vaseline to prevent cracking or chapping.
Some bleeding is normal and may be present for the first 24 hours
after surgery. This may be controlled by placing fresh gauze over the surgical
site(s) and biting with gentle pressure for 30 to 60 minutes at
a time. If bleeding persists or becomes heavy, substitute a moist
tea bag (first soaked in hot water, squeezed dry and wrapped in
moist gauze) on the area for 20 to 30 minutes. If bleeding continues,
please call our office.
It is important that patients eat and drink properly to maintain
their nutrition after surgery, as this will speed up healing and
improve patient comfort. It is advisable to confine the first day’s
food intake to bland liquids, pureed food or soft foods that are
at room temperature. Avoid any hard foods that may damage the surgical
sites and any foods like nuts, sunflower seeds or popcorn, which
may get trapped in surgical sites, for at least 1 week. After the
initial surgical day, you may progress to more solid foods. If you
are a diabetic, maintain your normal eating routine and follow your
physician’s instructions regarding your insulin schedule.
Unfortunately, most oral surgery is accompanied by some degree of
discomfort. Take the pain medication prescribed as directed. The
local anesthesia administered during your surgery will eventually
wear off and the onset of discomfort will begin. It is therefore
advisable to start taking your pain medication approximately 2 hours
after your surgery, unless otherwise directed. Taking pain
medication at regularly scheduled times will be more effective at
preventing pain. Taking the pain medication with soft food and a
full glass of water will lessen the side effects of nausea and stomach
If antibiotics are prescribed for your surgery, please start them
approximately 2 hours after your discharge. It is important that
antibiotics that are prescribed to you be taken until they are finished.
For women currently taking oral contraceptives please be aware that
an alternate form of birth control should be used for the remainder
of the cycle.