Post-Operative Instructions: GeneralBACK
After Your Surgery
Read and follow these instructions carefully. They can prevent needless alarm and worry. If you are in doubt about anything, please call our office.
Change the gauze pressure packs every 20 minutes, biting firmly until the bleeding has subsided. Leave the cotton out of mouth when oozing is slight.
Use ice packs for the first day to prevent swelling. A moist heating pad may be used starting the second day to help resolve the swelling.
Take the prescribed medication with food or liquid as directed. Over-the-counter medicine like Motrin® can be used as an alternative.
Liquids and soft foods are best for the first day. Regular food may be eaten after the second day as is comfortable.
Do NOT rinse or do any spitting the first day. The blood clots can be disturbed. Starting the second day, use warm salt water to soak and rinse the areas often for comfort and cleanliness after meals. You should resume brushing your teeth 24 hours after surgery.
Not smoking speeds healing. Do not drive for 24 hours after general anesthesia.
The following ‘after surgery’ conditions may occur in some patients while healing is progressing normally.
- Occasionally, bleeding may continue. Biting with pressure on gauze packs or a tea bag soaked in warm water can be useful.
- Swelling can be expected and may be most noticeable on the second or third day, then slowly resolves.
- Tightness of muscles (trismus) may cause difficulty opening.
- The skin may become discolored after surgery because of bleeding into the tissues. It will resolve in a short time.
- Slight earache or sore throat may be noticed after surgery.
- Temperature may be elevated slightly for 24-48 hours.
- Novocain may result in 6–10 hours of numbness of the lower lip, chin, and tongue. Numbness remaining after the first day may be due to nerve irritation and should be brought to the doctor’s attention.
- Nausea and/or vomiting may occasionally occur. Usual causes of an upset stomach are swallowing blood or sensitivity to medicine taken on an empty stomach. Stay with liquids until resolved. 7-UP® or something like Pepto Bismol® may help. If the nausea persists, call your doctor. Office Phone: (925) 933-6190
- You may have pain that becomes worse after a few days and does not respond to the medication you are taking. This may indicate an inflammation of the bone socket. Please call the office to arrange for a sedative dressing to be placed.