After Corrective Jaw Surgery
Recovering from Orthognathic (corrective jaw) surgery will be a lengthy process that will be greatly influenced by the way the patient follows the post-operative instructions provided by our surgical team. Following these important guidelines will keep you comfortable, speed healing and will help to achieve successful results.
Pain Management and Swelling
If you received prescriptions for anti-inflammatory medications, narcotics and/or antibiotics, please follow the written instructions without skipping or altering the prescribed regimen. These medications will keep you comfortable and they also play an important role in reducing post-operative swelling.
Swelling can also be managed by applying a cold compress to the face during the first 48 hours after surgery. This may be facilitated by the “Jaw Bra” and cold water pump if you have been given one. After 2 days, a moist heat compress is recommended. Keeping the head slightly elevated and using a head wrap during the first 72 hours will also help to decrease swelling.
Mild, occasional bleeding is to be expected after surgery. If the bleeding becomes heavy or uncontrollable, please contact our office immediately. Strenuous activity can trigger bleeding and should be minimized during the healing period. However, patients are encouraged to move around and avoid lying in bed for extended periods of time in order to reduce the risk of blood clot formation in the legs or respiratory illness, such as pneumonia.
Smoking, spitting and drinking through straws should be avoided until bleeding has subsided.
Sutures and Rubber Bands
If re-absorbable sutures are used, they should begin to fall out after a few days, otherwise, the stitches will be removed during a scheduled post-operative appointment.
If rubber bands are used to hold the teeth together after surgery, you will to limit your diet to liquids and smoothly blended foods.
It will be important to keep the mouth clean after surgery by gently brushing the teeth that can be reached at least twice each day. A mild saltwater solution or an antimicrobial mouth rinse might also be recommended several times daily after surgery.
Post-Operative Follow-Up Care
North Texas Oral & Facial Surgery wants to ensure that all patients have a positive experience with a healthy recovery. Patients are scheduled for a post-op checkup between 7-10 days after the day of surgery to evaluate the progress. However, prior to your follow up appointment, if you experience any complications or simply have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office for immediate assistance.