Post-Operative Instructions

Soft Tissue Surgeries

Now that your surgery has been completed, follow these instructions to make yourself more comfortable, promote healing, and prevent any possible complications.

Read all items carefully!

Day of Surgery

Anesthesia

Most patients that require biopsy (soft tissue type) complete this treatment utilizing local anesthesia (Novocaine). Patients having an extensive soft tissue procedure may prefer the use of intravenous sedation. This type of sedation makes that patient more relaxed and unaware of the treatment. There maybe a 3-4 hour time period for the sedative drugs to wear-off!

Local anesthetics are used in combination with intravenous sedation for your comfort after the treatment! The injections are given after you are sedated…don’t worry, you will not remember them! The affect wears off within 3-12 hours.

Medications

We will prescribe 2-3 medications to be taken after surgery. These medications maybe from any of the following categories:
  • Antibiotic

    to decrease the chance of any post–operative infection
  • Anti swelling

    as the name implies - this decreases the post –operative swelling of the surgery (this is not always prescribed...especially in less involved soft tissue surgery)
  • Analgesics

    this is for post–operative pain relief
  • Mouth rinse

    this improves healing and decreases wound infections

Note:

Females taking birth control pills should note that additional measures should be utilized while taking antibiotics.

Patients who smoke increase the risk of developing a "dry socket" after extraction(s) or have delayed soft tissue healing. It is our suggestion that this habit be curtailed for 2-3 days following surgery to safeguard your surgical outcome.

Please take all medications as prescribed! If you notice any skin rashes or if you have any persistent nausea and/or vomiting, please contact our office… the medication(s) may need to be changed if this occurs.

If the patient becomes nauseated: Sip room temperature bicarbonated soda or ginger ale and check the position of the gauze to ensure blood is being absorbed. If nausea persists, for more than two (2) hours, call the office with a pharmacy number so a medication for nausea can be called in!

If stitches are used, they may be dissolvable or non-dissolvable. Dissolvable stitches may be gone by your follow-up appointment (7 days later). The non-dissolvable stitches are removed at the follow-up visit or on the 14th day after surgery…this will be explained to you immediately after the surgery.

To help stop any post-operative bleeding, gauze packs will be utilized. It is recommended that this gauze be moistened and placed over the surgical site. The gauze should be replaced every 15-20 minutes for the first 2-3 hours. Discontinue the use of the gauze when the bleeding has stopped.

If a periodontal dressing comes loose or breaks, you may remove it. The periodontal dressing is the packing applied to the surgical site for protection following surgery…(It looks like bubble gum). If the packing stays in place, it will be removed after 7 days of healing by a staff member.

Oral Hygiene

This should be completed as usual. The only exception involves the immediate area around the surgical site. In this area, use a Q-tip and peroxide to clean the adjacent teeth. This is done in a gentle “paint-brushing” fashion, twice a day, for the first 10-14 days.

Diet

Continue a normal diet.We recommended avoiding spicy foods and citric acid products for 24 hours (items such as orange juice, lemonade, grapefruit juice, and tomato juice). These products will sting the surgical site.

Swelling

To help minimize swelling, use an ice pack on the outside of the face (adjacent to the surgical site/sites). The ice pack should be used 15-20 minutes and then remove for an equal amount of time (or alternate to the other side…if both sides were treated). Continue this procedure for 24 hours. Warm moist heat is recommended following the day of surgery. Elevate your head with an extra pillow when you sleep the first day.

The day after surgery, begin warm salt-water rinses 4-6 times per day. This rinse is made by mixing 1 teaspoon of salt with 8-ounces of lukewarm water. Rinse your mouth gently and expectorate. Continue this process for the next 7 days. No water-piks!

You can expect some swelling over the first 1-2 days following the treatment. This will gradually disappear over the next 7-14 days.

Questions?

If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the office! (904) 246-6545