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Post-Operative Instructions:

  • Patients who have undergone IV sedation should be carefully attended to by a responsible family member or friend for at least 6 hours after leaving the office. The patient cannot drive for 24 hours or while taking narcotic pain medication.
  • PAIN: A certain amount of discomfort is to be expected with any surgical procedure. This varies with the amount of surgery required. Discomfort is usually well-controlled by the prescribed medications. Make sure to eat before taking any narcotic pain medication. Nausea is the most common side effect. Take all prescribed pain medication as directed by Dr. McPhillips.
  • BLEEDING: Bleeding follows any surgical procedure and should not alarm you unless it is excessive or persistent. To control bleeding, we will place a gauze dressing over the surgical site(s) and have the patient apply firm pressure. This pressure will stop the bleeding.
    • The gauze will need to be changed every hour for the first few hours after surgery. It will be important to ensure the gauze is directly over the surgical site and firm pressure is applied.
    • Remove the gauze when eating or drinking to avoid choking.
    • Make sure to remove all gauze from the mouth before taking naps or going to bed.
    • Once bleeding has stopped, remove all gauze from the mouth.
  • SWELLING & DISCOLORATIONS: These are a normal part of the healing process and, unless extreme, are of no significant concern. Early application of ice can be helpful in decreasing the amount of swelling which peaks 72 hours after surgery.
    • If appropriate, place an ice pack to the surgery side of your face in 20-minute intervals for the first 24–36 hours.
    • For biopsies inside the mouth, an ice pack may not be helpful.
    • It is ok to keep an ice cube in your mouth over the surgery site. The coolness will help some with the discomfort.
    • Keep your head elevated on additional pillows. This will also help to reduce the severity of swelling.
  • ORAL HYGIENE: Keeping your mouth clean will reduce the likelihood of infection. It can be difficult to brush teeth near the surgery site. You can use a dampened Q-tip® to clean the inside and outside of the teeth near the surgery site. Brush the remaining teeth as normal. If prescribed a mouth rinse, use this as directed for the first week after surgery.
  • DIET: For your comfort, start with clear cool liquids after surgery. Your diet can be advanced to a regular diet as you feel up to it once the numbness wears off.
    • It can be difficult to chew foods for the first week. If possible, try to chew on the opposite side of the mouth to avoid traumatizing the surgical site.
    • Do not use a straw or drink carbonated beverages, and avoid alcohol for the first 3 days after surgery.
  • CALL THIS OFFICE REGARDING ANY COMPLICATIONS. These can include but are not limited to a fever over 101.3, discomfort not controlled by prescribed pain medications, prolonged or excessive bleeding, or excessive swelling. After regular business hours, you can contact Dr. McPhillips by calling our office answering service at (254) 965-2541 for any concerns.