POST OPERATIVE INFORMATION – Orthognathic Surgery

Pain and swelling are a normal post-operative experience and may last for several weeks depending upon the procedure. Management of these problems will be helped by following these simple instructions.

REST but do not lie flat, keep your head elevated on a pillow when lying down.

Place an icepack, wrapped in a hand towel, gently against your face for just 10 minutes, do this every hour for the first 6 hours after surgery,

DO NOT smoke post operatively.

DO NOT consume alcohol before your post-operative review appointment.

DO NOT exercise before your post-operative review appointment.

DO NOT blow your nose or drink through a straw if your surgery involved the maxilla.

Do not chew or eat solid food for six weeks. You will be given advice on dietary restrictions and supplementation.

It is normal to have altered sensation over some areas of your face following jaw surgery. This will have been discussed prior to your surgery and will be monitored over the post-operative period.

Most patients need a combination of analgesics to successfully control pain. The following general instructions may differ depending on other medical conditions you may have. Discuss this with your Surgeon.

Ibuprofen (eg Nurofen) should be taken with food or milk ie: meal times, and before bed. Do NOT lie down for 30 minutes after taking this medication.

Paracetamol (eg Panadol) may be taken between doses of Ibuprofen if further pain relief is required.

You may be prescribed an additional analgesic (eg Mersyndol, Panadeine Forte), that may be taken in place of Paracetamol if required. These should be taken with food or a full glass of milk. Common side effects are nausea, constipation and drowsiness.

Do not drive or operate machinery or return to work if you are taking a prescribed analgesic.

Hygiene is important to help prevent infection.

Do not use soap or shampoo on any areas of skin that have been injured or sutured.

If you have sutures in your mouth:

Commence gently rinsing your mouth after every meal with a salt water solution (dissolve ½ teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of warm water). Alternatively you may use a mouthwash purchased. Continue brushing twice daily with toothpaste.

The sutures inside your mouth are usually dissolving (pale beige coloured) and may disappear prior to your appointment for follow-up. This is considered normal, and not cause for concern.

Sutures on the skin may require removal 5 -10 days following surgery, you will be informed of the timing of removal in your specific case.

Take your antibiotics as prescribed. These will usually continue for 5  – 7 days post surgery.

All patients undergoing surgery will be given a post-operative appointment approximately 7 to 14 days after surgery.