Post-operative Instructions

These instructions apply to the surgical procedure just completed. They are designed to help you minimize post-surgical discomfort and inform you of any situation that may require special attention.

Pain Medications

It is not unusual to have discomfort following your surgical procedure. You will be given a prescription for medication to help you tolerate the post-surgical recovery period. Please take your medications as directed. It is advisable to not take pain medication on an empty stomach, as nausea may result.

As an alternative to prescription medications, some patients have found taking a combination of over-the-counter Ibuprofen and Tylenol to be effective. You may take the combination in either of the following dosages: 3 Advil Liqui-Gels and 2 Regular Strength Tylenol or 3 Advil Liqui-Gels and 1 Extra Strength Tylenol, every 4-6 hours as needed.

Note: When taking any prescribed medication containing Acetaminophen (Tylenol), i.e.; Percocet, Hydrocodone, Vicoden or Tylenol with Codeine, you should not take additional Tylenol so as not to exceed the safety level of Acetaminophen. Please contact the office with any questions you may have.

Please alert the office to any allergies or sensitivities that you might have to antibiotics. An antibiotic may be prescribed following your surgical procedure. Take as directed until gone. It is advisable not to take these medications on an empty stomach, as nausea may result. For women taking birth control pills, be advised that antibiotics may interfere with their effectiveness.


Swelling is normal and may occur following your surgical procedure. It will typically increase for 2-3 days after the procedure. To minimize the swelling, place a cold pack over the outside cheek area for 20 minutes per hour until bed time on the day of surgery.


A small amount of bleeding is normal. If excessive or continuous bleeding occurs:

  • Rinse very gently with very cold water.
  • Elevate your head when lying down.
  • Apply moistened gauze to the immediate area with moderate pressure for 20 minutes; repeat if necessary.
  • Enclose a moistened tea bag in a gauze square and apply pressure for 20 minutes.
  • Call the office if bleeding persists.


A wound dressing may have been placed (which acts as a bandage). It is used to temporarily protect the surgical site. The dressing is designed so that it might come off or dissolve prior to your follow-up visit.


Until comfortable, avoid chewing on the side where surgery was completed. Avoid hot foods and liquids for approximately 1 hour following the surgery.  A soft diet is recommended. Usually foods that can be cut with a fork are safe to eat. Foods such as cottage cheese, oatmeal, soup, eggs, yogurt, pasta, mashed potatoes, casseroles, and fruits are easily eaten. Remember, adequate nutrition is essential for feeling better as well as for healing.


Do not smoke for at least 2 weeks following your surgical procedure. It will significantly slow healing and can compromise results.


Do not drink alcohol while taking prescription pain medications.


Do not rinse until the day after surgery. You may use your prescription rinse or a mild, diluted mouthwash. Repeat as necessary to help keep the surgical area clean.


Do not brush the surgical site until you are told it is safe to do. You may resume normal brushing/flossing in other areas the following day after your surgery. The exception is LANAP treatment which has its own eating instructions that we will review with you.

Suture Removal

If your sutures need to be removed, we will do this at your follow-up visit. There is usually little or no discomfort. It is usually not necessary to take antibiotic premedication prior to suture removal.

Contact Us

Should you have any questions or concerns during regular office hours, please do not hesitate to contact us at 608-782-0140 or 800-232-2793.