POST-OPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS FOR BIOPSY
Sometimes the after-effects of oral surgery are quite minimal, so not all of the following instructions may apply. In such cases, use your best judgment. When in doubt, however, please follow the guidelines below or call our office for further clarification.
DAY OF SURGERY
FIRST HOUR : You may remove the gauze entirely after the first hour if bleeding is controlled. It is normal to have some oozing, blood-tinted saliva, overnight or for the next day. Do not sleep with gauze in your mouth.
PAIN: During your surgery, you were given local anesthesia similar to the one your regular dentist uses to numb the extraction site. As the anesthetic wears off, you may begin to experience pain. The most severe pain usually occurs within 4-6 hours after the local anesthetic wears off; after that, your pain should lessen.
Ibuprofen will be your best aid in pain management—often it will be all that is necessary to control any pain. As soon as you leave the office, take 600mg ibuprofen (3 tablets/caplets) every six (6) hours on the clock, and continuing for the next 3 days. If you take the ibuprofen before the anesthesia wears off, you will have better success in managing any discomfort. Taking the ibuprofen on this six hour schedule will also help to control inflammation and swelling.
You may also be given a prescription for a narcotic painkiller, depending upon Dr. Chaudhry’s determination of your needs based on the surgery performed. Please keep in mind that there are legal limitations to your activities (ie, driving) while taking narcotic pain medication, so it is recommended that the prescription be your second line of defense, to be used in conjunction with the ibuprofen. If you need to take the prescription, take it with the ibuprofen, not instead of it.
If you find that you need to take large amounts of pain medicine at frequent intervals, please call our office. If you anticipate needing more prescription medication for the weekend, you must call our office for a refill prescription during weekday business hours.
SWELLING: Swelling can be minimized by using a cold pack, an ice bag or bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel and firmly applied to the cheek adjacent to the surgical area. This should be applied 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off during the first 24 hours after surgery. Swelling will begin to resolve on day three.
DIET: It is important not to skip any meals. If you take nourishment regularly you will feel better, gain strength, have less discomfort and heal faster. Eat any nourishing food that can be taken with comfort. Liquids, including broths and soups, or pureed foods may be the most comfortable to begin with, but you may gradually progress to more solid foods over the next few days.
HYGIENE AND CARE: Do not disturb the surgical area today. Do not use any over-the counter mouthwashes. Do not brush the surgical area or disturb the gum tissue. You may use a warm salt-water rinse to soothe your mouth and keep it clean: Dissolve 1/4tsp to 1tsp in 8oz warm water, and gently move it around your mouth and allow it to dribble out. Take about 5 minutes and use the entire glass, taking care neither to vigorously rinse, nor spit. You may repeat the rinse as often as desired, but no less than 2-3 times daily. PLEASE DO NOT SMOKE FOR AT LEAST 48 HOURS, since this is very detrimental to healing and may cause a dry socket.
THE FIRST WEEK:
HYGIENE: You may return to your normal oral hygiene routine, including flossing, still taking care not to injure your surgical sites after the first week. Soreness and swelling may prevent vigorous brushing, but it is important to make every possible effort to clean your teeth within the bounds of comfort. Continue with salt water rinses as necessary.
HEALING: Individual bodies are different, so allow some room for your own unique healing ability. Otherwise, normal healing after a biopsy generally occurs as follows: The day of surgery and the next day are generally the most uncomfortable, and there is usually some swelling. On the third day, you should be more comfortable and, although still somewhat swollen, you can usually begin a more substantial diet. Try to chew on the opposite side of the surgical site. Do not manipulate or disturb the delicate gum tissue surrounding your surgical site. Avoid movements which will stretch this tissue, such as opening your mouth wide or smiling. Lastly, do not compress the gum tissue as this will interrupt adequate blood flow which promotes the proper healing of your surgical site. The remainder of the post-operative course should be gradual, steady improvement. If you don’t see continued improvement, please call our office. Monitor the surgical area for increased swelling, pain and redness. This can indicate an infection which needs to be reported to Dr. Chaudhry.
SUTURES: You may have sutures present at the biopsy site. These can be dissolvable which will take about 7-9 days to reabsorb, or non-dissolvable stitches which will be removed when you see Dr. Chaudhry for follow-up.
BIOPSY REPORT: Dr. Chaudhry will contact you within 7-10days to review the report findings with you either over the phone or if needed by appointment. If you have not been contacted after seven days, you must call to schedule a follow-up appointment. The follow-up appointment is necessary to provide the diagnosis for your biopsy and to schedule any additional treatment that may be required. We have scheduled a post-operative appointment for you, generally 1 week from your date of surgery. If you have pain that is unmanageable, or if you have serious concerns about your healing, please do not hesitate to call. We can answer any questions you may have, and if necessary, we can see you before your scheduled appointment.
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