After Major Jaw Surgery

NUTRITION: Begin drinking immediately upon arrival at home.  Start with clear fluids, but do not use a straw.  The day following your surgery, heavier fluids with some milk content in them, such as puddings, cream soups, etc., or soft foods may be started.  These soft foods may have the consistency of fresh pasta, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes etc., but most importantly must contain plenty of nutritional value .  A regular diet can usually be resumed within 5 days or sooner if it can be tolerated.

REMEMBER: Increase fluid intake for several days immediately following surgery . This is also not the time to begin a diet.

ORAL HYGIENE: Immediately prior to surgery, clean the mouth and rinse well.  Dispose of toothbrush.  For 24 hours following your surgery do not rinse the mouth, clean the teeth, spit or swish fluids in the mouth, also keep fingers and tooth away from operative site in order to allow the formation of the healing tissue without disruption.  DO NOT SMOKE for 72 hours following surgery as bleeding or disruption of the healing tissue can occur and smoking increases the chance of dry socket. 

24 hours after your surgery begin rinsing your mouth with warm, slightly salty water (1/2 teaspoon salt in half a glass of water) after each meal, before bedtime and upon rising in the morning.  Also brush your teeth using a soft toothbrush and toothpaste.  Avoid brushing at the surgical site for the first four days, then brush very gently to remove food debris.  A solution of mouthwash diluted with water to 50% strength may be used if desired.  REMEMBER :  Keep the mouth as clean as possible for many days to help prevent post-operative infections.

BLEEDING:  It is normal for the saliva to be lightly streaked with blood for a few days.  If bleeding is present fold gauze moistened in warm water into a firm, thick wad and then place it directly against the surgical site.  Maintain steady biting pressure for 30 minutes.  The less frequently the gauze is changed the better.  Do not spit out.  Do not chew the gauze.  In an emergency a tea bag moistened in warm water may be substituted for the gauze pad.  Do not rinse your mouth until 12 hours after the bleeding has stopped.

SWELLING:  Swelling is a normal reaction by tissues attempting to heal from any type of surgery.  Swelling may take up to three days to reach its maximum, and then starts to lessen.  At the time of surgery an anti-swelling medication is given intravenously.  This medication does help to reduce swelling, but cannot completely prevent it.

To minimize swelling, elevate head on pillows for the first three days to help prevent pooling of fluids and promote drainage.  Do not lie flat when sleeping at night.  Apply cold packs to the jaw line for fifteen to twenty minute intervals.  Do this throughout the first three days immediately after surgery, during waking hours only.  This helps minimize the swelling and relieves the discomfort.  After the third day, apply heat to the sides of the face, massage the cheek area gently, and exercise the jaw by opening and closing the mouth, two to three times a day to help reduce muscle stiffness.

PAIN:   Have the prescription for pain tablets filled and take as directed.  Do not take any other pain medication with these tablets unless you have been specifically directed to do so by the dentist.  Do not drink alcohol while taking these medications for pain.  Many of these prescription drugs for pain cause drowsiness; do not take them if you are driving a car, operating machinery, or doing anything requiring concentration.

CONGESTION:   If upper teeth have been removed, you must avoid vigorous nose blowing for three days following surgery.  If you experience nasal or sinus congestion, phone the dentist for a decongestant.

INFECTION CONTROL:  When ANTIBIOTICS are prescribed, they must be taken as directed.  Take them for the full number of days prescribed unless you experience an adverse reaction such as itching, rash, hives, swelling or difficulty breathing; in this case stop taking the medication and inform our office.

DISCOLOURATION:  Bruising of the skin may occur; it is temporary and usually resolves in a week of two.

REST:   Rest is vital to good healing.  Take it easy and relax for a couple of days post-operatively.  There should be no strenuous exercise, such as weight lifting or aerobics, for 1 week following surgery.

PLEASE LET US KNOW IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING ANY PROBLEMS DURING YOUR POST-OPERATIVE PERIOD.  WE CANNOT HELP YOU OVERCOME OR TREAT THESE DIFFICULTIES IF WE HAVE NOT BEEN MADE AWARE OF THEIR EXISTENCE. 

PLEASE ENSURE YOUR POST-OPERATIVE FOLLOW-UP APPOINTMENT IS SCHEDULED WITHIN 10 DAYS OF YOUR SURGERY

It is important to remember that everyone heals at their own pace. Please be patient, your progress will be monitored regularly and management will be decided accordingly. If you experience any problems please call 416 923-2100 during regular business hours or the doctors’ emergency pager numbers listed below.

PAGING DR. MEISAMI

To reach Dr. Meisami in an emergency, you can page her/ him directly.

For Dr. Meisami, please dial 1-855-266-7243 (1-855-2ON-PAGE). Enter Dr. Meisami’s pager number,923-2100, and press Pound (#). Enter a callback number where Dr. Meisami can reach you. She will respond as soon as possible. Alternately, to send Dr. Meisami a written message, please email 9232100@onpage.com. Make sure to include your contact information and a description of the issue. Dr. Meisami will respond as soon as possible.