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Post-Operative Care

Patient Instruction Following Oral Surgery

In the event that the patient goes home with gauze packs in the mouth, these are to be removed 1 hour after surgery.

Ice packs may be applied to the face to help decrease pain and swelling (Packet of frozen peas etc may be substituted).

This is quite normal response and usually reaches its peak 72 hours following surgery.

It often varies from different individuals depending on the degree of difficulty of surgery. Swelling if any, will start to decrease after the third day and resolve by one week.

Bruising may occur as the swelling starts to subside and is again not unusual.

Bleeding may occur after oral surgery and responds well to direct pressure.

If bleeding occurs, use the gauze supplied to apply direct firm pressure to the bleeding site for one hour. If bleeding persists, please contact me.

It is also common to have some bleeding overnight and wake with blood on your pillow (HINT: Place plastic sheet or towel between pillow case and pillow otherwise blood will soak through into pillow.)

Always occurs with varying intensity.

Initially, it is important to take the pain killers regularly. This should decrease significantly after 2-3 days with a decrease in the need for pain killers. There may be limitation in mouth opening.

A dull ache may persist for at least a few weeks after your surgery. This is normal and is due to muscular discomfort following surgery.

Dr Sam Verco will advise you the best pain relief for after your surgery.

Nausea and /or vomiting following oral surgery are common and may relate to medication or swallowed blood.

It is wise to have clear fluids only for the first 12 hours. If nausea is a problem, use a bicarbonate elixir, eg. DEXSAL. If vomiting persists, please contact me.

Avoid spicy and dairy foods for the first 24 hours.

Numbness to the lip and tongue may be present and is most often a transient problem.

This will have been discussed with you at the time of initial consultation.

Numbness will also be reviewed at your post-operative appointment.

Infection is uncommon following oral surgery and if it does occur, it will show itself by a late increase (3-4 days) in swelling and /or discomfort and /or the onset of a discharge.

IN MOST CASES, antibiotics will have already been prescribed postoperatively to prevent infection. It is important to finish the course even if there are no problems

Dissolving sutures will be used in almost all cases.

These will fall our or dissolve between approximately 7-14 days following surgery. ‘Flappy bits of gum’ and ‘wound holes’ may be felt or discovered.

‘Creamy/grey bits’ of healing tissue may look like an infection and this is also normal.

These will disappear a few weeks and up to a month after surgery.

DO NOT RINSE YOUR MOUTH UNTIL THE NEXT DAY AFTER SURGERY.

Rinsing in the early stages will cause bleeding. Rinsing with a mouth wash is suggested (a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water is recommended.

Cepacol, Savacol, Listerine etc may also be used.) and this should be done at least 6 times per day. Tooth brushing should be recommenced the day after surgery, being very cautious near the surgery site.

Avoid Hot food and drinks for the first 24 hours.

Your diet will need to be restricted to fluids and soft foods initially. A gradual return to a normal diet is recommended. Please ensure that you take in at least two litres of fluids per day to prevent dehydration.

A soluble vitamin supplement is also advised during the healing phase.

It is advisable that you refrain from smoking for at least 5 days after the surgery as this increases the risk of infection and/or dry socket.

On about the third or fourth day after surgery, you may have mood swings and feel lethargic.

This is a normal healing phase following surgery.

Local anaesthetic is almost always used, even if treatment is carried out under General Anaesthetic, as it reduces post operative pain.

It is very important that you do not bite or suck your lip or tongue while it is numb.

Please let my staff know the phone number on which we may be able to contact you if necessary.

If there are any problems, I would prefer to hear from you earlier rather than later and before simple surgical problems become serious. (eg. While I still have staff in my rooms who can assist surgically if needed).

After Hours Emergency:
Please contact our rooms during office hours on (03) 9592 6445

Out of office hours please contact your surgeon:

Dr Sam Verco        Mobile:  +61 417 001 391

Dr Bent Woods      Mobile:  +61 412 818 388

In the unlikely event that you cannot contact your surgeon please call or attend the emergency department of your local public hospital.

SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT NOW!
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