Post-Operative Instructions

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The first 72 hours after your surgical procedure are the most important and will ultimately determine the outcome of your procedure and the course of your healing. If you have any questions or concerns, you may contact Dr. Pope on his cell phone at 214-641-9280.


  • No physical activity for the first 72 hours and only light activity in the week to follow. Heavy activity will increase blood flow, which can lead to bleeding and swelling.
  • No smoking for the first 72 hours. Smoking slows healing and can lead to post-surgical complications.
  • If your surgery was performed under sedation (oral or IV), do not drive or operate heavy machinery for 24 hours or until the effect of the medication(s) wear off.
  • Sleep with your head elevated (above heart level) for the first 24-48 hours. This will help minimize swelling.
  • Use an ice pack wrapped in a damp towel (15 minutes on/15 minutes off) for the first 48 hours. This will minimize swelling and bruising. After the first 48 hours, use warm moist heat (a warm, damp, washcloth) for 15 minutes on/15 minutes off.


  • No chewing until the numbness goes away. We don’t want you to bite your lips, cheeks, or tongue. Always chew on the opposite side of the surgical area (if possible).
  • Eat soft foods for the first 7 days (smoothies, yogurt, pudding, Jell-O, soup, pasta, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, etc.). Do not eat or drink anything hot for the first 24 hours.
  • No alcohol for the first 72 hours following surgery.
  • In cases of extractions, do not use a straw for the first week following surgery.


  • No brushing, flossing, or rinsing for the first 24 hours.
  • Do not pull on your lips or cheeks to check the surgical area.
  • After the first 24 hours, rinse gently with the prescribed mouthwash (Chlorhexidine Gluconate 0.12%) twice daily: once in the morning after breakfast, and once in the evening before bedtime. Continue using this rinse until the doctor instructs you to stop.
  • Do not remove or pull on your sutures. Some sutures may be in place for up to 4 weeks and will be removed by the doctor, others will dissolve on their own in 7-21 days.


  • Start your antibiotics 24 hours prior to surgery and continue taking the antibiotics until they are finished. Call the doctor if you experience any GI symptoms (e.g. diarrhea, upset stomach).
  • If you were prescribed an anti-inflammatory (Ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin), take this medication as directed every 6-8 hours for the first 3 days following the surgery.  You make also take 650-1000mg of Tylenol (a.k.a. Acetaminophen) every 6-8 hours as needed for discomfort.
  • If you were prescribed a steroid dose pack, take this medication as directed. This medication has been prescribed to prevent/decrease swelling and helps with the post-operative discomfort.