After Biopsy

Bleeding

A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery. Slight bleeding, oozing, or redness in the saliva is not uncommon. It is normal to experience blood-tinged saliva a few days after surgery, as well as slight oozing after eating or brushing your teeth. To resolve this, we recommend warm salt water rinses. If bleeding does not subside, call for further instructions.

Swelling

The swelling that is normally expected is usually proportional to the surgery involved. Swelling is the body’s normal reaction to surgery and eventual repair. The swelling will not become apparent until the day following surgery and will not reach its maximum until two to three days post-operatively. However, the swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs. A plastic bag filled with ice, frozen peas/corn, or a gel pack should be applied to the side of the face where surgery was performed. The ice packs should be used at 20 minute intervals (20 minutes on and 20 minutes off). Heat packs can be used by the third day at 20 minute intervals.

Biopsy on your LIP: Ice as much as possible the first 48 hours after surgery. It is not uncommon for the lip to swell A LOT. Make sure you lubricate your lips with Vaseline to prevent cracking post operatively. Sometimes the sutures pop out too soon, unless there is excessive bleeding, this should not be a concern.

Biopsy on your TONGUE: It is difficult to ice inside your mouth—but we recommend ice chips, cold liquids to soothe the surgical site. It is not uncommon for the tongue to swell A LOT. Sometimes the swelling is so excessive that the sutures pop out too soon, unless there is excessive bleeding, this should not be a concern.

Pain

The prescribed pain medicine will make you groggy and will slow down your reflexes. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more every day. We also recommend taking ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) two 200 mg. tablets every 4-6 hours. If pain persists, it may require attention and you should call the office.

Diet

Drink liquids after IV sedation. Do not use straws when drinking from a glass. The sucking motion can cause more bleeding by dislodging the blood clot. High calorie, high protein intake is very important. Your food intake will be limited for the first few days. You should compensate for this by increasing your fluid intake. At least five to six glasses of liquid should be taken daily. You will feel better, have more strength, less discomfort, and heal faster if you continue to eat.

The first day consume a liquid diet: Yogurt, pudding, ice cream, applesauce, mashed potatoes, Ensure/ Boost liquid meals.

Foods to eat the next day: normal diet, just avoid chewing by the surgical site and do not eat sharp chips, nuts or popcorn. If your biopsy was on your tongue, we recommend to continue a soft diet with foods the consistency of scrambled eggs.

Oral Hygiene

No rinsing of any kind should be performed until the day following surgery. You can brush your teeth the next morning of surgery and begin warm salt water rinses. The day after surgery you should begin rinsing at least three to four times a day with a cup of warm water mixed with a half teaspoon of salt.

Remember: a clean mouth heals better and faster.

Activity

Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. We usually recommend limiting physical activity five to seven days after surgery. If you are considering exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur. If this occurs, you should discontinue exercising.

Sutures

Our surgeons usually use the dissolvable type of sutures/stitches that fall out between 5-7 days after surgery. Sutures are placed in the area of surgery to minimize post-operative bleeding and to help healing. Sometimes they become dislodged. This is no cause for alarm–just remove the suture from your mouth and discard it. If we used a type that needs to be removed, we will schedule you an appointment.