Post-Operative Instructions For Biopsy
The after-effects of oral surgery vary from person to person so not all of these instructions may apply. If you have any questions about your progress or any symptoms you are experiencing, please call our office at (704) 875-8833.
FOR PATIENTS WHO HAVE HAD IV SEDATION / GENERAL ANESTHESIA:
- Patients should return home from the office immediately upon discharge until all of the effects of the anesthetics have disappeared—24 hours.
- A responsible adult must remain with the patient for at least the first 24 hours.
- While recovering from anesthesia and/or taking prescription pain medication
- Drive or operate appliances/equipment that could be dangerous: car, power tools, stove, lawnmower, etc.
- Swim, go near a pool or lake
- Make important or legal decisions
- Drink alcoholic beverages—the drugs in your body may cause an adverse reaction to alcohol
- Use stairs without assistance
STEPS TO A SUCESSFUL RECOVERY
Bleeding / Incision Care
- If gauze has been placed on the site remove it after 1 hour. If there is still bleeding, use new gauze to apply pressure to the site for 20 minutes. If bleeding persists call our office.
- Keep in mind that mild oozing from the site may be present for a short time after surgery and blood-tinged saliva may be present for 24 hours after surgery. Keep your head elevated above chest level for the first 2 days and nights after surgery.
- Avoid using peroxide as this will dry out the area.
- Avoid pulling on the area or stretching it.
- As soon as bleeding stops…
- Eat something—this is important as the medication is hard on the stomach.
- Take pain medication. If you were prescribed an antibiotic, you SHOULD NOT take it at the same time.
- Remember DO NOT drink with a straw for 1 week after your surgery.
- Wrap ice in towel and apply to the outside of the face in the affected areas for 20 minutes, leave off for 20 minutes. Repeat during the first 24 HOURS ONLY.
- Start after the first 24 HOURS.
- Rinse with salt water first. Use ½ a teaspoon of salt water in a cup of warm water. It may be easier to buy a gallon of distilled water and mix salt water all at once. Do this 6 times a day, once after every meal and once in between for the next 3 weeks.
- If you were given a prescription for a special rinse, start using it 24 hours after surgery, twice a day, once in the morning and once at night.
- Follow soft foods diet for 5 to 7 days.
- Scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, yogurt, oatmeal, etc.—anything you don’t have to chew.
- Avoid foods that may become lodged in sockets like nuts and popcorn.
Suture Removal / Follow up Visit
- Some usually dissolve 1 to 7 days after surgery, others need to be removed at your follow-up visit
- Don’t be concerned if a suture loosens after your swelling has decreased. Avoid pulling or attempting to remove it yourself.
- Contact our office if…
You have a fever of 100° or if pain and/or swelling increases after 48 hours
There is a rash, itching, or hives—stop all medications and call
- Contact 911 if…
There is swelling of the throat or difficulty breathing
In the event of an emergency
DO NOT smoke for at least 7 days after surgery as it is detrimental to the healing process. Two weeks of no smoking would be best for your recovery.
DO NOT use a Waterpik or other unauthorized devices on surgical sites.
- For patients prescribed an antibiotic…
Take the prescription EXACTLY as directed and until ALL antibiotics are gone
Do not take antibiotics at the same time as the pain medication. Taking them separately allows us to trace any reaction that might occur to the offending medication.
If you are currently taking oral contraceptives, you should use an alternative method of birth control for the remainder of this cycle
If you develop diarrhea that lasts more than a day stop the medication and call the office
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- When can I start brushing my teeth?
You may brush the day after surgery, taking care to avoid the surgical sites.
- When should I use the rinses?
Beginning 24 hours after surgery, use the salt water rinse 6 times a day: once after each meal and once in between for the next 3 weeks. If you were given a prescription for a special rinse, begin using it 24 hours after surgery as well.
- How soon can I engage in strenuous activity?
We recommend avoiding strenuous activities such as exercise for 5 to 7 days after surgery.
- How long will I be numb?
Loss of sensation to the chin and lip is common—especially after lower wisdom tooth surgeries— and usually disappears after a few days or weeks. If your numbness does not wear off within 24 hours after surgery, please contact our office.
- Do I have to take all the pain medication?
No, you can take over-the-counter pain medication that you typically use if you don’t like the way the prescription makes you feel, (i.e. nausea or vomiting).