What can I expect after surgery?
- Keep the incision dry for 7 to 10 days while the steristrips are in place. After the steristrips are removed at the office on your follow-up appointment, gently wash the incision with soap and water 2 to 3 times a day as needed. After each washing, apply a thin film of an antibacterial ointment (e.g. Polysporin).
- Avoid any activity that pulls across the incision such as shaving around the incision for at least 2 weeks (the rest of the face may be shaved). Most sutures are dissolvable. Any staples or sutures that need to be removed will be done on your follow-up appointment 7 to 10 days post surgery.
- Some patients are discharged with a thin drain tube and oval collecting reservoir called a grenade. Please empty the grenade and record the amount of fluid whenever the grenade looks half full or at least 2 times a day. Discard the fluid down a sink or toilet, do not save it. Bring the daily recorded amounts to your follow-up appointment.
- Elevate the head of your bed 30 to 45o for the first 3 to 4 days to decrease swelling. The skin above the incision may look swollen after lying down for a few hours.
- Avoid any activity that raises your blood pressure for one week (eg. heavy lifting, strenuous exercise, etc.).
- The nerve controlling the closure or blinking of the eye may be affected by the surgery temporarily or permanently as discussed on your pre-op office visit. If temporary, movement should improve several weeks to months after the surgery. The cornea or surface of the eyeball is moistened with tears by the blinking action of the eye muscles. The eyelids also close and cover the cornea while you sleep. If the blink is slow or eye closure is incomplete, then the cornea may dry out and/or become infected. This can lead to scarring of the cornea and blindness. Do not scratch or rub a dry or itchy eye. Prescribed medication will help lubricate the affected eye. Apply a thin film of the prescribed Lacrilube ointment to the eye before sleeping, and Tears Naturelle eye drops every 4 – 6 hours during the day to the affected eye. Please call us or your eye doctor if you have vision problems after the surgery.
- You may eat a regular diet after surgery. If the oral “pucker”muscles are weak, you may drool slightly when drinking. You may notice a slight increase in fluid from your incision while eating; this is normal and usually resolves by a few weeks.
- Pain can be mild to moderate the first 24 to 48 hours. The nerve controlling sensation of the ear lobe and lower cheek is usually permanently affected by the surgery as discussed in your pre-op office visit. This will reduce the post-operative pain in the upper cheek and neck. The sooner you can reduce your narcotic medication use, the more rapid is your recovery. As your pain lessens, try using extra-strength acetaminophen (Tylenol) instead of your narcotic medication to reduce constipation.