Post-op Surgery Instructions

Self-care instructions for patients following surgery


Reduce strenuous activity after the surgery for three days and increase as tolerated over the next few days.


Some bleeding may be common and can persist for a day or two. Bleeding may also occur if sutures come out early. This is not unusual, so do not worry. If excessive or prolonged bleeding continues place a gauze or tea bag on the bleeding site for 30 minutes. You may have to do this a few times with a new gauze or tea bag each time. In case of bleeding for more than a day or two, please contact the clinic.

Mouth Rinsing

DO NOT rinse heavily for the first day after surgery, as this may disrupt the wound and place unnecessary pressure on the sutures and cause them to tear. The second day after surgery, gently rinse after meals with lukewarm water. You may carefully brush your teeth but avoid touching the biopsy site with the toothbrush or other intra-oral devices or cleansing agents. No spitting, sucking or drinking through a straw.


Swelling may occur after surgery, and often reaches a maximum at about 48 hours. Applying an ice pack to the area "on and off” every 30 minutes within the first two days after surgery can help reduce the swelling.


Take the pain medication that was prescribed to you with food. If no prescription was given, usually because it is deemed unnecessary by the doctor, you may take 2 tablets of Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen containing products only, such as Advil or Tylenol.


Drink only liquids until the numbness from the anesthesia wears off, and then eat soft bland foods for a few days. Since some foods may cause irritation to the tissue at the biopsy site, we have provided you with a short list of foods that are favorable to eat, and those to avoid because they may cause irritation:
Yes: Soups, salads, juices, soft fruits, herbal tea, applesauce, oatmeal, noodles, pasta, rice, bread (no hard crusts), soft cooked meats
No: Spicy foods, hot foods, acidic foods, alcohol, hard foods, carbonated beverages

Nausea or Vomiting

Nausea can occur after surgery and anesthesia, or when some blood is swallowed, or if taking pain medications on an empty stomach. If nausea exists, start with clear liquids like broth, tea, or juices and progress to a more substantial diet as tolerated. Discontinue prescribed pain medications if this occurs and use Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen instead.


DO NOT drive, operate machinery, or drink alcohol after taking prescription pain medications.