NIGHT OF SURGERY
- Talking: Avoid excessive talking, laughing, and chewing as this will cause more swelling and discomfort.
- Sleep: Sleep on your back with your head elevated about 30-40 degrees (2-3 pillows). Do not sleep on your side. Keeping your body more upright will minimize swelling. Continue this for one to two weeks.
- Cold Sores: Patients will be prescribed an anti-viral medication to start 72 hours prior to the procedure. Please take as prescribed until all tablets are completed.
- Arnica: If provided, start your Arnica tablets two days before surgery. One in the AM and one in the PM and continue until the bottle is finished.
- Antibiotics: You will be prescribed antibiotics to start 24 hours prior to your procedure. Take as directed until all gone.
- Premedication: You will be prescribed a sedative called Valium that is to be taken 1 hour prior to arriving to our office. Bring the rest of the tablets with you to the office.
- Pain: You will be prescribed a pain medication for post-operative pain control. If your discomfort after surgery is not strong you are welcomed to take Tylenol in place of the prescribed medication. Do not take Tylenol with the pain medication, often the medication you are prescribed will have Tylenol in it. Do not exceed 4,000 mg of Tylenol in any 24-hour period. Take medication with food to minimize risk of nausea.
- Nausea: If you are experiencing nausea, which may be a side effect of some stronger pain medications, we advise that you call our office and we can call you in an antinausea medication. You should also take pain medication with small amount of food to prevent nausea.
- Constipation: You will experience constipation if taking narcotic pain relievers. MiraLAX or other over the counter laxatives are recommended. Do not wait to take until you are constipated. Begin treatment with narcotic use or as needed.
- Medications to Avoid: Take only those medications approved or prescribed by your surgeon. Avoid medications containing aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Naproxen, etc.) for two weeks before and after surgery. These medications may increase bleeding.
- Hydration: Stay hydrated by drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day. Avoid alcohol while taking pain medications. DO NOT DRINK USING A STRAW.
- Diet: Eat foods that are soft and require minimal chewing for 3-5 days. Do not eat salads, tough meats and sandwiches or chew gum. No hot or salty foods or fluids for 48 hours. Avoid any foods that require you to open your mouth wider than 1 inch and use small utensils while eating.
- Physical Activity: It is important to get up, walk around, and not remain on complete bed rest while your body recovers. Normal daily activity may be resumed a few days after surgery. No bending over, straining, or lifting more than 5lbs for the first week after surgery.
- Exercise: Light physical activity may be resumed 2-3 weeks after surgery. Remember to start easy and build back up to your previous exercise levels. Just know that swelling may transiently be worse with exercise.
- Driving: Do NOT operate a vehicle or make important decisions until you have been off narcotic pain medications for 24 hours. Use good judgment.
- Return to work: Most patients require approximately 5-7 days off work depending on their job responsibilities and amount of face-to-face interaction.
- Sexual Intercourse: Sexual activity can be resumed when you feel ready with no restrictions and incisions have adequately healed.
- Brushing Teeth: Use a small child’s toothbrush to brush your teeth and rinse your mouth after meals.
- Moisturize Your Lips: Keep lips moisturized for 2-3 weeks with Vaseline, Aquaphor, Carmex, or similar product.
- Cold Compress: Use cool/moist compresses or ice wrapped in a small towel for 24-48 hours to reduce swelling. You may use this 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. Do not apply ice directly on the skin.
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR INCISIONS
- Eating: AVOID opening your mouth more than 1 inch wide to prevent incision site separation (opening) for 1 week.
- Ointment Application: Keep incisions covered with antibiotic ointment (Neosporin, Polysporin) for the first 2 weeks following surgery.
- Crusting: In the event of food build up or crusting, gently clean incisions at corner of mouth with a cotton swab using a solution of diluted hydrogen peroxide (¼ hydrogen peroxide, ¾ water). Then reapply ointment.
WHAT TO EXPECT
- Drainage: Drainage can occur from the incision sites for the first week. The drainage will be blood tinged.
- Bruising: You can expect to have bruising. Most bruises will heal after about 1-2 weeks. The bruise will go from a purplish color to a yellow/green shade as it starts to resolve.
- Swelling: Swelling is to be expected for a few weeks or more. Exercise and physical activity can transiently worsen swelling but is encouraged.
- Itching: Itching at the incision sites is normal for the first couple of weeks. You may take Benadryl to help with this.
- Pain: Most patient experience a mild to moderate level of discomfort the night of surgery. If the pain is strong take your prescription strength pain medication. Most patients find that after the first day the pain is mild and can usually be controlled with Tylenol.
- Sensory Changes in Skin: You may feel reduced or heightened sensation in the lips. This is normal. You can expect return of normal sensation after a few weeks to months.
WHEN TO CALL THE OFFICE (703-481-0002) OR GO TO THE HOSPITAL
- Signs of Infection: Spreading redness, worsening swelling, increased drainage or drainage of pus, worsening pain, warmth at incision site and temperature over 101 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Excessive Bleeding: If the dressings are saturated with bright red blood and you are having to make very frequent dressing changes.
- Other Emergency Situations: Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chest pain, lightheadedness that does not quickly resolve, severe vomiting, pain, or asymmetric swelling in your legs.