Regardless of what type of surgery you have, there will be a recovery process. Surgery, in its very nature, is invasive so you cannot expect to have an operation and head back to normal life the moment you step off of the operating table. Instead, it is better to have a realistic expectation and make preparations for how you will feel. We like to start by advising you to have someone with a comfortable car drive you home. We perform operations under anesthesia so you will probably feel sleepy when we are done. If you can have someone drive you home and put you to bed, you will probably sleep for several hours, making the recovery go by faster.
The day before your oral surgery, you should prepare by eating a large dinner. Unless you have diabetes, you will probably not be allowed to eat for twelve hours before the procedure so make sure that your dinner is filling and contains protein for sustained energy. You should also get your bed ready with extra pillows that are positioned so you can recline, rather than lay flat on your bed. We also recommend putting water bottles on your nightstand along with a bottle of ibuprofen and some pudding snacks, or other food that is room temperature and soft, since you won't be able to eat anything significant for 24 to 48 hours after the procedure.
You should also purchase some soft ice packs from the drug store. Buy several so that you don't have to wait for the one you are using to freeze again before placing it back onto your face. You can use ice for fifteen minutes at a time with fifteen-minute breaks in between. This will help the swelling to be reduced so that you can feel comfortable and heal faster. If you have someone to help with this process – excellent. If not, try to prepare as much as you can ahead of time so that you won't have to get out of bed and can focus on relaxing during your recovery.
We will also give you an antibiotic to take to help reduce the risk of an infection along with gauze to stop and control the bleeding. If you have any problems during the first 24 to 48 hours after oral surgery, call our office so that we can advise you as to the next steps. Otherwise, once 48 hours have passed the swelling should be all or mostly gone and you can start to eat the majority of foods again as long as you continue to avoid anything that is sharp like pretzels or chips.