Instructions Following Surgery
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1. You may experience some swelling in the area of surgery. When you arrive at home use an ice pack on your face
next to the operated area. Leave it in place for only 10 minutes and then remove it for 10 minutes. Repeat this routine
as needed for up to 48 hours. Sometimes swelling will peak on the second or third day and then begin to subside. To
also reduce swelling, take 600mg of ibuprofen (Advil) every six hours for the first three to four days after surgery. If
swelling is severe and/or if you feel feverish, please call.
2. It is not uncommon during the day of surgery to notice a slight pink color or tinge to your saliva. This should clear up
the next day. However, if there is excessive bleeding or continual bleeding the day after surgery, call for instructions.
3. Brush and floss your teeth as usual except in the operated area. Here, brush only the biting surfaces of the teeth.
4. Twenty-four hours following surgery begin using warm salt-water rinses every 3-4 hours. Do not use water hot enough
to burn your mouth.
5. Following some surgical procedures, there may or may not be pain, depending on your threshold for pain. In many cases, a
combination of ibuprofen (Advil) 600mg and acetaminophen (Tylenol) 500mg taken together will be as effective as a narcotic
without any of the side effects associated with narcotics. If a narcotic has been prescribed, please take the pain medication
according to directions. It is recommended that you take the pain medication before the local anesthetic wears off to minimize
6. You may be prescribed a mouthrinse to aid in controlling plaque. Use as directed twice a day after breakfast and at
bedtime. You may begin the evening of the surgery.
7. A dressing may be placed in the area where the surgery was performed. If a piece of the dressing falls out or the entire
dressing loosens or falls out, do not be alarmed. If a dressing is not placed, avoid loosening any sutures that may have been
placed, with your tongue.
8. Please limit your physical activities during the week following surgery. Remember that your body should be spending most
of its energy in healing.
9. If a retainer or stent has been made to protect the palate, it is generally recommended to wear it at all times over the next
several days or on an as needed basis. This will minimize discomfort and oozing from the palate during the healing phase.
10. If an extraction has been done in conjunction with the surgery, avoid smoking, rinsing or using a straw for the first 24
It is important that you maintain a nutritious diet and drink plenty of fluids during the week of healing. Please call if you are
unable to tolerate liquids. The patient who maintains a good diet of soft foods generally feels better, has less discomfort, and
heals faster. Extra hard, crunchy or spicy foods of any kind may be irritating and should be avoided. Intake of alcoholic
beverages and use of tobacco should be minimized. If you are experiencing difficulty in eating properly, commercially
available dietary supplements (such as Ensure and Instant Breakfast) may be used, and the daily intake of a multi-vitamin is
If you have any questions or problems, feel free to call me at the office or at my home.
Lake Charles office: 337-478-1000 Dr. Steiner’s home: 337-405-8567