Post-surgical Instructions-Healing and Activities
There may be a “hole” in the surgical site after surgery. This will fill in from the deepest part of the surgical site out. This healing process can sometimes take 4-6 weeks to complete. Patients must rinse their mouths well after meals to keep the surgical sites clean as food particles can collect in the surgical site. It is important to rinse these particle out of the surgical site as they can cause pain, delay wound healing and cause infection. It is important to keep fingers and the tongue away from the surgical sites.
After the third or fourth day, patients can expect to make steady improvement. Depending on the extent of the surgery, this process may occur slowly. Worsening symptoms like redness around the surgical site, swelling, fever or pain after patients start to recover from their surgery, may be a sign of problems with healing. Patients must not ignore worsening symptoms and Dr. Maranon should be contacted immediately so that the surgical site can be evaluated.
Bony edges or small, sharp bone fragments may work up through the gums. Patients with this condition may be concerned about pain at the surgical site, tongue pain or difficulty swallowing. This is normal during healing as the body remodels the bone around the surgical site. These are not roots or parts of teeth. This condition is usually treated conservatively without surgery. If you notice them, or have any questions about your wound, please call the office to have the site evaluated.
Patients must remember that they just had surgery and that they should be nice to themselves. Different procedures will have different recovery periods. Dr. Maranon and his staff discuss with patients their unique post-operative treatment course. It is important to rest after surgery. Patients should go home and take it easy for at least the rest of the day. They should elevate their heads on two or three pillows or a recliner chair and not lie flat. This will help to control swelling and bleeding.
Patients must be careful if they suddenly sit up or stand from a lying position for the first few days after surgery. This may cause the patient to feel dizzy or faint which can result in loss of consciousness or injury. If patients have been lying down following surgery, they must sit up for one or two minutes before standing and may need assistance. This is especially true if they have been taking prescription pain medication.
Patients should not bend over or do heavy lifting for 2-3 days. In most cases, walking and light physical activity is encouraged after the first day. This will also help with swelling and help get patients back into their normal routines. Depending on the procedure, patients should avoid vigorous physical activity for 3-5 days. Depending on their procedure, patients may be asked to avoid vigorous activities of longer periods of time. Swimming and water sports will also need to be avoided for at least 3-5 days. It must be remembered that patients are more likely to be injured if they perform vigorous physical activities or contact sports when they are tired.
Fluids and nourishment should be taken regularly. Hydration and a high calorie, high protein diet is very important after surgery. For more information, see our suggested diet instructions.
Lastly, the effects of anesthesia and prescription pain medications may make patients drowsy and slow reflexes. Patients must not drive automobiles, work around machinery or participate in activities that have the potential to cause injury while under the influence of these medications. Alcoholic beverages must avoided while taking prescription pain medications and within 24 hours of receiving general anesthetic or sedative medications.
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