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 for at least the first week 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(Advil) and Acetaminophen(Tylenol) to be effective. Please do not take more than the recommended daily dosage of either (3200 mg/day for Ibuprofen and 4000 mg/day for Acetaminophen from all sources).

Please contact the office at Seattle Office Phone Number 206-523-1834 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 certain antibiotics may interfere with their effectiveness.


Swelling may occur following your surgical procedure and will typically peak the third day after the procedure. To minimize the swelling, place an ice pack over the outside cheek area for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. Continue using ice for 2-3 days following the procedure as often as possible.


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

  • Do not rinse your mouth.
  • Elevate your head when lying down.
  • Apply moistened gauze to the immediate area with moderate pressure for 20 minutes; repeat if necessary.
  • Alternatively use a moistened black tea bag (not herbal) and apply pressure for 20 minutes.
  • Call the office if bleeding persists.

Exercise or Labor

Please avoid heavy excercise or labor after soft tissue graft surgeries for at least one week, preferably two weeks. With other surgeries avoid exercise or labor for 1-2 days.


The dressing (which acts as a bandage) is used to protect the surgical site and help reduce discomfort. If the dressing comes off or is uncomfortable, please call the office for direction.


Until comfortable, avoid chewing on the side where surgery was completed. Avoid hot foods and liquids for approximately 1 hour following the surgery so as not to soften the dressing. A soft diet is recommended. Foods such as cottage cheese, oatmeal, soup, eggs, yogurt, pasta, mashed potatoes, casseroles, and fruits are more 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.


A mouth wash is normally prescribed (peridex/chlorhexidine) to keep the surgical area clean after surgery. This is in place of brushing the area. Please use the mouth rinse as prescribed. When rinsing, let it roll from one side to the other with out “swishing” and then let it fall out. DO NOT SPIT. This is to avoid suction in the mouth which may disturb the surgical area. We recommend that you rinse after meals as the rinse tends to alter taste sensation for a short period of time.


Do not brush the surgical site. You may resume normal brushing/flossing in other areas the following day.

Suture Removal

You may notice increased discomfort 3-4 days after the surgical procedure. As the tissues begin to heal, they may pull against the sutures and dressing. You may choose to take some form of pain medication one hour prior to your suture removal appointment to minimize tenderness.

Contact Us

Should you have any questions or concerns during regular office hours, please do not hesitate to contact us at Seattle Office Phone Number 206-523-1834. You can call the same number after hours if needed and Dr. Faber will be paged.