After Surgical Treatment

Typical symptoms after surgery are soreness and mild swelling in the surgical area.  However, we have listed some possible symptoms, as well, that are less common.  Please follow the instructions to take care of yourself after surgery:

Rest:

Get plenty of rest today.  For the next few days please avoid vigorous exercise (e.g. jogging), as a lot of movement may tear your sutures (stitches).

Mild Discomfort:

To relieve mild discomfort take the following medications over the next 48 hours, unless you have otherwise been advised by your physician:

  • 400-600 mg ibuprofen (Advil) every 6 hours       OR
  • 500 mg acetaminophen (Tylenol) every 6 hours, if you cannot take ibuprofen

Swelling:

This is common after surgery.  It may occur regardless of home care.  The degree of swelling is NOT an indication of the success, failure, or severity of surgery.  We recommend periodic application of ice (10 minutes on, 10 minutes off) for the next 24 hours.  This helps control swelling and the more swelling is controlled, the less discomfort that you will have.

Bleeding:

Light bleeding from the surgical area during the first few hours following surgery is normal.  For this reason, we do not recommend rinsing, brushing nor flossing today.  If some light bleeding occurs, place a damp gauze pad with moderate pressure for 10 minutes to the area.  If pressure alone does not seem adequate, place a wet tea bag (black tea) with light pressure to the area.  The tea contains tannins that help stop bleeding.  If bleeding cannot be stopped with these measures, please call our office.

Discoloration of the Face and Oral Tissues:

Bruising can occur after surgery, especially in those who are fair skinned or bruise easily.  As with any other bruise, it will fade over time.

Paresthesia:

Occasionally, inflammation of the tissues may cause temporary numbness.  Normal sensation generally returns in a few weeks, but may take up to several months, as nerves tend to heal slowly.  In rare instances, it is permanent.

Brushing and Flossing:

After the first 24 hours you can start to brush and floss the areas away from the surgical area.  Be gentle. After about 5-7 days you may want to try to brush your teeth in the surgical area, but let your body tell you when it is ready for regular brushing.  You will be quite tender to brushing for a few weeks as the area heals.

Eating and Drinking:

For the first week or so, please adhere to a softer and blander diet.  Avoid foods and drinks that are very hot (e.g. coffee/tea) or very acidic (e.g. orange juice).  Also, avoid foods that are spicy, sour, hard, crusty (bread), or have small seeds in them (e.g. sesame seeds). These foods may irritate the surgical area or may become lodged in the surgical site and prevent proper healing.

Some recommended foods are eggs, mashed potatoes, pasta, well-cooked vegetables, ground meat, soup, rice, soft breads, and puddings.

Smoking and Alcohol:

At minimum, avoid smoking for the first 48 hours after surgery, or longer, if possible.  The chemicals in the smoke can prevent proper healing of the surgical site.

Avoiding alcohol is also recommended, as the alcohol may irritate the area and also interact with medications.

 

If you have any questions, please call our office at Renton Office Phone Number 425-277-0670.