POST-OPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS: TOP TEN MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: When can I take the gauze out?
A: Please leave the gauze in for one hour after you leave our office. If the bleeding has stopped, there is no need to have gauze placed over the surgical area.
Q: When can I eat?
A: Two hours following your appointment.
Q: What can I eat?
A: Please begin with soft foods such as pasta, macaroni and cheese, eggs, soft breads, soups (not hot), potatoes (baked, boiled or whipped), peas, lima beans, cottage cheese, yogurt, fresh vegetable juices, Jell-O, custard and pudding. Slowly advance as tolerated. Do not use a straw for drinking as this may dislodge the blood clot.
Q: What can I expect with regard to swelling?
A: Everybody is different but swelling can develop up to 2-3 days following surgery. Please use ice off and on for thirty minutes for the first 24 hours. If swelling persists after 24 hours, please use a heating pad. Discontinue ice completely.
Q: What if a stitch comes out?
A: A stitch may come loose and pull out during the first few days after surgery. This is of no concern unless brisk bleeding follows. The first thing to do if bleeding occurs would be to use the gauze with firm pressure for 45 minutes.
Q: I still have bleeding, what can I do?
A: Some bleeding is normal up to 24 hours following surgery. Please bite firmly on a gauze pack over the surgical site for 45 minutes at a time. Keep your head elevated in an upright position without much movement to keep your blood pressure down to aide in stopping the bleeding. If excessive bleeding persists, wipe your mouth clean and place a damp tea bag over the surgery area and apply pressure for one hour. Avoid vigorous rinsing or spitting. Do not use a straw and also avoid smoking and strenuous activity which can aggravate bleeding.
Q: Do I need an antibiotic?
A: The doctors evaluate each case individually and all cases do not require antibiotics. However, if you have been prescribed an antibiotic, please take it until it is all gone.
Q: What about pain medication?
A: If you have been prescribed a pain medication, please take it within an hour or two following surgery to allow it time to get into your system before the Novocaine wears off. If you prefer to take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Tylenol or Advil, please take it within two hours following surgery. Remember no drinking alcohol or driving while taking any narcotic medication such as Vicodin, Tylenol with Codeine or Percocet, etc.
Q: Is it okay that there is a big hole where my surgery was?
A: Often times the body wants to heal extraction wounds from the bottom to the top and a hole will form. Over the next 1-2 months the hole will usually heal completely. Do not be alarmed.
Q: When can I resume my normal sports activities?
A: Please allow 3-4 days before resuming strenuous activity. Exertion can increase your blood pressure which will lead to bleeding. Also you need to rest to aide in your healing. Please refrain from vigorous activity while taking a prescription pain reliever.