Once your surgery is completed, you must follow all the instructions given to you in order to heal properly and have a good outcome.
The following instructions are your obligation. Use this as a checklist of progress as you heal. Included are normal post-surgical experiences and key health considerations that may be a cause of concern.
Normal Post-Operative Symptoms
- Swollen, tight and bruised chin or jaw region. A firm feeling of the skin or tingling in the area where an implant has been placed
These are normal experiences as the skin, tissues and sensory nerves heal. Pain medication will help you cope with any discomfort.
- Consistent sharp pain should be reported to our office immediately
- To alleviate any discomfort, and to reduce swelling, you may apply cool compresses to your chin
Do not apply ice or anything frozen directly on the skin. Do not apply anything cool on your cheeks or neck. Soak soft plain white washcloths or gauze squares in ice water and wring out well. Apply any compress gently. Do not apply any pressure, this could cause the implant to shift or dislodge. Apply cool compresses for no longer than 20-minute intervals. Do not apply any heat.
Call the office immediately if you experience any of the following:
- A high fever, (over 101 degrees) severe nausea and vomiting, continued dizziness or incoherent behavior, such as hallucinations.
- Any pain that cannot be controlled by your pain medication.
- Excessive bleeding or fluid seeping through the incisions.
- A severely misshapen appearance or excessive bruising or fluid retention that is localized to one region.
To alleviate any discomfort and reduce swelling:
- You may apply cool, not cold, compresses directly to the eyes, but not to the cheeks or neck. Do not apply any pressure.
- Crushed ice or ice packs must be wrapped in a towel before being applied to the skin.
- Do not apply ice or anything frozen directly to the skin.
- Apply cool compresses for no longer than 20-minute intervals.
- Do not apply any heat.
Day of surgery instructions
- Rest, but not bed rest
While rest is important in the early stages of healing, equally important is that you are ambulatory: meaning that you are walking under your own strength. Spend 10 minutes every 2 hours engaged in light walking indoors as your recover.
- Recline, do not lie down
This will be more comfortable for you, and can reduce swelling. Always keep your head elevated. Do not bend forward or over.
- Good nutrition
Fluids are critical following surgery. Stick to non-carbonated, non-alcoholic, caffeine-free and green tea-free beverages including fruit juices and water, milk and yogurt drinks. You must consume at least 8 ounces of fluid every 2 hours. Stick with soft, bland, nutritious food for the first 24 hours.
- Take all medication, exactly as prescribed
Oral pain medication, antibiotics and other medications.
- If incisions are inside your mouth, use an oral rinse as indicated
Use an oral rinse as directed, after every meal, before bedtime, and at least 6 times per day.
- If incisions are beneath your chin or elsewhere outside your mouth
Do not remove any steri-strips or crusting near your stitches. Apply ointment as directed.
- Do not smoke
Smoking can greatly impair your safety prior to surgery and you ability to heal following surgery. You must not smoke.
Do not engage in any stressful activities. Let others tend to you.
Two to seven days following surgery
During this time you will progress with each day that passes. Ease into your daily activities. You will receive clearance to begin driving or return to work at your post-operative visit.
- Continue to use your oral rinse and/or ointment as directed
- Practice daily sun protection
An SPF 30 is essential regardless of the weather or your activities.
- Apply skincare cautiously
Do not use glycolics, retinoids or other potentially irritating skincare products until you receive clearance to do so.
- Take antibiotic medications and supplements as directed
Take pain medication only as needed. You may wish to switch from prescription pain medication to acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
- Continue to keep you head elevated, including when sleeping
- Do not resume any exercise other than regular walking
Walking is essential every day to prevent the formation of blood clots.
One to four weeks following surgery
As you resume your normal daily activities, you must continue proper care and healing.
- Refrain from direct sun exposure
If you are outdoors, apply at least an SPF 30 at least 30 minutes prior to sun exposure. The skin surrounding your chin implant is highly susceptible to sunburn or the formation of irregular, darkened pigmentation.
- Do not smoke
Smoking deprives your body of necessary oxygen that can result in poorly healed, wide, raised scars.
- You may begin sleep in a modified reclining position
However do not sleep lying flat or on your stomach. If you are a side sleeper, two pillows under your head, and a soft pillow under your mid-back and shoulders may offer more comfort.
Six weeks following surgery
Healing will progress; swelling continues to diminish.
- Discomfort or tightness and tingling around the implant will resolve
- You may ease into your regular fitness routine
However, if you are going to engage in any contact sports you must wear proper protection.
- No need to resume smoking
You have now gone 10 weeks (4 weeks prior to surgery and 6 weeks following) without a cigarette. For your long-term health, there is no need to resume smoking.
Your first year
Your appearance will change with age
Your facial appearance may change too. You may wish to undergo revision surgery at a late date to help maintain your appearance throughout life. Contact our office with any of your questions or concerns, at any time.