Incision & Drainage of Infection

We realize that having any surgery can be stressful. Our desire is to have your post-operative course progress as smoothly as possible. These instructions provide some general guidelines with regard to post-operative care; your doctor may give you additional instructions as well.

Drainage of the Infection

A Penrose drain, which is a small rubber tube, may have been placed to keep the area open and promote drainage of the infection. This will usually be left in place for 24 to 48 hours. Your doctor will determine when you should have the drain removed.

Do not attempt to touch, move, remove, or replace the Penrose drain. If the drain comes out please call the office for further assistance.


The gauze pad placed over the surgical area should be kept in place for a half hour. After this time, the gauze pad should be removed and discarded. A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery. If the surgical site is still bleeding heavily then replace the gauze pad with one of those provided in the post-operative care package. Slight bleeding, oozing, or redness in the saliva for up to 24 hours is not uncommon; however, gauze is only needed if the area is bleeding heavily.


>Most patients having this procedure are swollen. Swelling could increase after the procedure. To minimize swelling keep your head elevated. Use several pillows and prop your head and torso upright while relaxing or sleeping.

Pain Medications

You may have been given prescriptions for one or more pain medications to help manage severe discomfort following your surgery. However, in some cases, moderate discomfort can be controlled with Tylenol or anti-inflammatory medication (Advil/Motrin/Ibuprofen; Aleve/Naprosyn; Lodine/Etodolac). Anti-inflammatory medications can be alternated with narcotic medication in most cases. Take these and all medications as prescribed and in the manner indicated by your doctor. It is a good idea to begin taking your pain medications while you are still numb.
While taking narcotic pain medications, do not drink alcoholic beverages, drive, or operate any machinery for 24 hours after the last dose of narcotic pain medicine. Some patients experience nausea and or vomiting as a result of narcotic pain medications. The risk of nausea can be minimized by taking medications with some food. If you have a persistent problem with nausea or vomiting, please notify your doctor.


If you have been placed on antibiotics, take them as directed. If you have an unfavorable reaction such as a rash, please discontinue the medication and call the office for further instructions.

Oral Hygiene

Mouth cleanliness is essential to good healing. Start rinsing 24 hours after your surgery. Rinse with warm salt water (1/2 tsp of salt to an 8 oz glass of warm water) very gently three to four times a day. Use the saltwater rinse in addition to any other rinses prescribed by your doctor. You may begin to brush your teeth 24 hours after surgery. Of course, be gentle in the region(s) of the surgery.


Drink plenty of fluids; however, avoid hot liquids and foods. Soft food and cool liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. You may return to a normal diet, as tolerated, beginning the day after surgery but avoid crunchy food (popcorn, pretzels, and potato chips) for a week after surgery, as these could become lodged and irritate the surgical area.


Resume normal activities a day or so after surgery, or as directed by a doctor. Please keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery.

Avoid smoking for as long as possible following the surgery. The use of tobacco products slows down the healing process and may lead to developing other complications. We strongly recommend avoiding tobacco products for one full week.