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A little bleeding is to be expected following the operation. If bleeding occurs, place a gauze pad directly over the bleeding site and apply biting pressure for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues, a moist tea bag can be used for 30 minutes. Avoid hot liquids, exercise, and elevate the head. If bleeding persists, call the office immediately.

The area operated on will swell, reaching a maximum in 2-3 days. This usually appears as puffy cheeks or lips. Swelling and discoloration around the eye may rarely occur. A sore throat may develop since the muscles of the throat are near the extraction sites. Swelling into the throat muscles can cause pain on swallowing for 2-3 days. Use ice packs (externally) over the face at the operated area for the first 24 hours only. Keep your head above your chest at all times for the first 3 days (place 2 or 3 pillows under your head when lying flat).

For mild discomfort, take Advil/Motrin/Ibuprofen or Tylenol/Acetaminophen as instructed on the bottle. For severe pain, use the prescriptions given to you. If an antibiotic has been prescribed, finish your prescription regardless of your symptoms.

Do not rinse your mouth for the first day after surgery, or while there is bleeding. After the first day, use a warm salt-water rinse (1 tablespoon of salt in 1 cup of water) every four hours and following meals to flush out particles of food and debris that may lodge in the operated area. Spitting is prohibited; you may instead lean over the sink and allow liquids to passively flow out of your mouth. It is expected that you gently brush your teeth, while avoiding the surgical sites, during the healing period.

Drink lots of clear fluids. Restrict your diet to liquids and soft foods that are comfortable for you to eat. As the wounds heal, you will be able to advance your diet. Patients undergoing corrective jaw surgery will obtain more detailed dietary instructions.

If you have a high fever or uncontrollable pain, please contact the office. If the office is closed, please contact your doctor directly. If you have difficulty breathing or swallowing, someone must accompany you to the emergency department of the nearest hospital or call 911. Your doctor must also be called.