General Post-Operative Instructions

General Post-Operative Instructions


Take the prescribed pain medications as soon as you begin to feel discomfort; this will usually coincide with the local anesthetic becoming diminished.


Always wash your hands before and after touching bloody gauze.

For the first 4 hours after surgery, the gauze packs need to be changed 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Usually, the gauze does not need to be replaced more than one time.

A certain amount of bleeding is normal. Saliva might be tinged with blood for the first 48 hours.

To minimize further bleeding, do not drink hot liquids, or exercise.


The swelling is usually proportional to the surgery. Swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes, and sides of the face is not uncommon. This is the body’s normal reaction to surgery and eventual repair. The swelling will not become apparent until the day following surgery and will not reach its maximum until 2–3 days postoperatively.

Swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs, which should be applied to the sides of the face where the surgery was performed.

During the day, ice packs should be left on for 20 minutes and off for 20 minutes. It is not necessary to wear at bedtime.

After 48 hours, ice has no beneficial effect, but the application of moist heat to the sides of the face is helpful in reducing swelling.

If swelling or jaw stiffness persists for several days, there is no cause for alarm. This is a normal reaction to surgery.

Oral Hygiene

Do not rinse your mouth for the first day or while there is bleeding. After the first day, use warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water, 8 oz.).

Rinse every 4 hours and following meals to flush out particles of food and debris, which may lodge in the operated area.


Restrict your diet to liquids and soft foods, which are comfortable to eat.

Do not eat hard foods, crackers, chips, popcorn, peanuts and seeds for 2 weeks after surgery.

For the first 2 days after your surgery avoid sodas, carbonated drinks and do not sip on a straw.

Avoid smoking for at least 4 days following surgery.


Keep physical activities to a minimum the day of and the day after surgery. Dr. Urig will give instructions as to when it is safe to resume normal exercise.

Wearing Your Prosthesis

Partial dentures, flippers or full dentures should not be used for the next 10 days following surgery unless specified by Dr. Urig.