Safety Measures

Post-Operative Instructions: General

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After Your Surgery

Post-Operative Instructions

The following instructions are useful following a procedure:


  • A small amount of bleeding is common for the first few days.
  • If you experience excessive bleeding, place a gauze pad directly over the surgical sites and hold it in place with firm biting pressure for 30–45 minutes or until the bleeding can be controlled.
  • Replace the gauze pads every 30–45 minutes.
  • Bleeding may vary from person to person.
  • Gauze pads will always appear red. The way to assess bleeding is to directly look at the sites after the gauze pads have been removed.
  • If the bleeding does not slow down, please call our office.

Swelling Control:

  • Swelling can be normal after surgery.
  • Swelling can be reduced by applying an ice pack to the side of your face. Do this for 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off.
  • Continue icing the face as much as possible for the first 24–36 hours. Do not apply ice directly to the skin.
  • Please do not lay flat. Use 1–2 pillows to elevate the head to avoid or minimize swelling.
  • These measures may not eliminate swelling but they will help reduce its severity.

Diet–Day of Procedure:

  • Soft liquidy foods are strongly recommended on the day of the procedure. Pudding, JELL-O®, applesauce, yogurt, ice cream, and smoothies are excellent options for the day of the procedure.
  • Always cool down any hot foods or liquids during the first 24 hours following your procedure.

Diet–First Week:

  • You should eat only soft foods for the first week, such as scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, soft fish and steamed vegetables.

Diet–Foods to Avoid:

  • Avoid hard, crunchy, or very chewy foods until the site is fully healed and you are pain-free.

Pain Control:

  • Discomfort can be normal after the procedure.
  • Pain medication may be prescribed. It is advised that you take pain medication on the first day.
  • If you are not allergic or intolerant to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, you may start taking ibuprofen (Advil®or Motrin®).
  • If the ibuprofen alone doesn’t control your discomfort, take the prescribed narcotic in addition.
  • It is recommended that you alternate between the narcotic and ibuprofen. Do not take them at the same time.
  • Be certain to take your pain medication with food, as this will help prevent an upset stomach.
  • Remember: narcotic pain medication will impair your judgment and reflexes, so do not drive or operate heavy machinery.
  • Typically, minors will not be prescribed narcotics, as over-the-counter pain medications are effective for these procedures.

Alcoholic Beverages & Smoking:

  • Alcoholic beverages should be avoided for 24 hours before and 5 days after surgery.
  • Smoking should be avoided or limited as much as possible.


  • It is important to keep surgical sites really clean to avoid infection or delayed healing.
  • Begin brushing your teeth on the day of surgery. It is important to brush all of your teeth even if the teeth and gums are sensitive.
  • Avoid the surgical sites on the day of surgery. On the following day, gently brush over the surgical sites with no pressure.
  • You may remove some stitches. Brush around the packing if one has been placed.

Physical Activity:

  • No strenuous activity for 3–4 days following your surgery.
  • Physical activity increases your blood pressure, which will cause an increase in your swelling, pain, and bleeding.
  • You may gradually increase your activity after 3–4 days.
  • Low impact activities, such as swimming, may be more comfortable at first.
  • Avoid bending over, heavy lifting, or straining.

Thank you for reviewing these post-operative instructions and following them carefully.


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