Surgery Instructions

  1. Any patients under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at the
    time of surgery.
  2. Please wear loose fitting short sleeve shirt and comfortable clothing.
  3. Please wear flat soled shoes with ankle support like sneakers (no high heels).
  4. Please remove contact lenses, all jewelry, and watches before surgery.
  5. Please do not apply make-up, perfume, or cologne on day of surgery.
  6. Please remove fingernail polish on both index fingers.
  7. Please brush your teeth and rinse thoroughly before surgery.
  8. If prescribed medication at consultation, please take as directed prior to appointment. You may take this with no more than half a glass of water.
  9. Please have ice packs or bag of frozen foods (like peas) available at home after surgery
    to reduce swelling.
  10. Please have Advil or Tylenol available for after surgery.
  11. Alcoholic beverages and smoking should be avoided 24 hours before and 7 days after
  12. If you have an illness such as a cold, sore throat, stomach, or bowel upset, please notify
    the office.
  13. If you take routine oral medications, please check with our office prior to your surgical
    date for instructions.
  14. If you think you might be pregnant, please inform us before your appointment.


Patients having IV Sedation:

  1. Do not eat or drink 8 hours prior to surgery, including water and coffee. If you need
    to take medications please take them with no more than half a glass of water. If you
    have any questions, please call us, or send us an email. We reserve the right to cancel
    or postpone surgery if any of the instructions are not followed.
  2. Please arrange for a ride to and from the office on the day of your surgery. Patient will
    not be able to drive home after surgery and operate machinery. Please inform your
    driver that they will need to be directly present at the office for the entire visit. We
    suggest the driver bring some reading material.
  3. Please buy suggested foods to have on hand after your surgery. Please refer to
    recommendations on the post-operative food list.
  4. Please have a responsible adult at home to care for you on the day of surgery.


Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment time to address
any additional paperwork, and financial arrangements.

Care of your mouth after surgery has an important effect on healing. Swelling,
discomfort, and restricted jaw function are expected and should not cause alarm. These
symptoms are expected, but may be minimized by following the instructions below.
Please read them carefully.

In case of emergency call 911.

For any urgent questions outside of business hours, please call 202.800.4630

Remove the gauze pack(s) after one hour. Do not smoke, spit, or drink through a
straw for the first 72 hours. Spitting or sucking through a straw will cause bleeding to
continue, due to the negative pressure it creates in the mouth. Slight bleeding is
expected for the first day. If bleeding is excessive, place a folded gauze pad or a
moistened tea bag over the wound and bite firmly for 30 minutes with constant
pressure. Assume a semi-upright position using a couple of pillows.

Pain and Infection
Take your medications as directed on the package. If you develop hives or a rash,
discontinue all medications and contact our office. Do not drive or operate mechanical
equipment after taking prescription pain medication.

Apply an ice pack — 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off — to the jaw immediately upon
returning home and change it frequently. Continue this on and off for 24–48 hours. Peak
swelling should occur between the second and third day postoperatively and diminish
slowly thereafter.

A liquid or non-chew diet is recommended the day of surgery, and then soft foods high
in vitamins and protein is recommended for the next several days. Increase your fluid
intake. Gradually resume your normal diet as soon as possible.

Do not take narcotic prescription pain medication on an empty stomach! Small sips of a
carbonated drink will usually terminate nausea. Follow this with mild tea or clear soup,
and then easily digestible foods like toast or Jell-O®. Avoid greasy foods and milk
products. Over-the-counter Dramamine® can be taken to reduce the nausea. If nausea
continues, contact our office.

Oral Hygiene
The day following surgery, the mouth may be rinsed gently with a warm saltwater
solution (1/2 teaspoon salt per half glass of lukewarm water) after each meal and at
bedtime. Do not use hydrogen peroxide rinses. The teeth should be brushed, but avoid
the site(s) of surgery.

Smoking will cause bleeding and delay healing. Smokers are advised not to smoke for 3
days following surgery.

Avoid overexertion and get adequate rest. Avoiding sports, exercise, and strenuous
activity for at least 2-3 days is generally recommended.

Dental Care
It is usually best to avoid routine or elective dental care (including orthodontic or hygiene
visits) for approximately 2 weeks after surgery unless your doctor has advised

Signs of infection include any of the following, more than 3 days after the procedure:
increased pain and swelling, redness, warmth, drainage of pus, foul smell, and fever. If
these occur, contact us.

Post-Op Visits
If you have been given an appointment for post-operative care, please return to the
office as scheduled. If you are experiencing problems or have questions, we can usually
arrange a post-operative visit on short notice.
If emergency care is necessary after normal office hours, please call the office
number (202.800.4630), who will connect you to the surgeon, or call 911 for life
threatening emergencies.

Patients who are well prepared for their surgery usually have a smoother recovery. We advise
you to plan ahead and buy some soft foods prior to surgery.

The following are examples of soft foods:

  • Hearty Soups (cream of asparagus, lentil, minestrone, split pea)
  • Juice (cranberry, apple, grape) avoid citrus juice for a few days
  • Herbal Tea
  • Jell-O
  • Yogurt (soft or frozen)
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Pudding/Custard
  • Soft Fruit (banana, papaya, berries, canned peaches, or pears)
  • Applesauce
  • Popsicles
  • Ice Cream & Milkshakes
  • Fresh Cooked Vegetables
  • Fruit Smoothies/Protein Shakes
  • Oatmeal/Cream of Wheat
  • Eggs (scrambled, soft boiled, omelet’s, egg salad)
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Rice, Risotto
  • Tofu
  • Pasta (plain or with sauce)
  • Fish (soft white fish, sole, trout, snapper)


Please avoid the following foods the first 7 days after surgery:

  •  Spicy Foods
  • Foods that are difficult to chew (steak, sandwiches, etc.)
  • Popcorn & Chips (avoid for 1 month)
  • French bread loafs and Baguettes
  • Alcoholic Beverages


On the day of surgery, begin with clear fluids (juice, broth, tea, Jell-O) and progress slowly to
more substantial foods. Remember, it is important to maintain nutrition for optimal healing to

Be sure to rest and take it easy for the first few days;
Rent a few movies (comedies) and have a relaxing recovery!

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