Sometimes the after-effects of a biopsy procedure are quite minimal, so not all of the instructions may apply. Common sense will often dictate what you should do. However, when in doubt, follow these guidelines or call our office at (713) 665-9200 for clarification.
Day of Procedure
First Hour: All depending on where the incision has been made, keep gauze in place to control any bleeding that may occur. The gauze pack may be changed as needed.
Exercise Care: Do not disturb the procedure area today. Do not rinse vigorously or probe the area with any objects. Please do not smoke for at least 48 hours since this may slow down the healing process.
Oozing: Intermittent bleeding or oozing is normal. Bleeding may be controlled by placing fresh gauze at the site for 30–45 minutes at a time. The ooze may look more impressive than it really is because it is mixed with saliva. Do not be alarmed. This is normal.
Swelling: Swelling is often associated with oral procedures. It can be minimized by using a cold pack, ice bag, or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel and applied firmly if procedure area is on a cheek or area where the compress can be placed directly over the site. You can apply compress on and off for the first 24 hours.
Pain: Unfortunately, oral procedures can be accompanied by some degree of discomfort. Depending on the severity of the procedure, you may be given a prescription for pain medication or be instructed to use over-the-counter medications to manage the discomfort. It is best to take the pain medication before the anesthetic has worn off. Make sure and bring with you the medication that has been prescribed on the day of the procedure.
Nausea: Nausea is not uncommon after a procedure. Sometimes the medications may be the cause. This can be reduced by preceding the pain medication with a small amount of food and taking the medication with a large volume of water. Classic Coca-Cola® may help with any nausea that may be experienced.
Diet: Eat any nourishing food that can be taken with comfort. Avoid extremely hot foods. You may need to stick to soft foods for the first few days after the procedure.
Sutures: These are placed at the site of the biopsy and will fall apart on their own within 7–10 days.
Instructions for Second and Third Days
Mouth Rinses: Keeping your mouth clean after extractions is essential. Use the prescribed Peridex™ Rinse at least 3 times daily. Gently roll a capful of solutions for approximately 1 minute and spit.
Brushing: Begin your normal oral hygiene routine as soon as possible after the procedure. Soreness and swelling may not permit vigorous brushing, but please make every effort to clean your teeth within the bounds of comfort.
Healing: Normal healing after biopsy should be as follows: The first couple of days are generally the most uncomfortable, and there is usually some swelling. On the third day, you should be more comfortable and, although possibly still swollen, can usually begin a more substantial diet. If you do not see continued improvement, please call our office. Peak swelling is at day 3–4 after surgery. Do not be worried; this is normal.
Note: Tongue biopsies can be very painful for 1–2 weeks after surgery. There is usually a good amount of swelling as well. This swelling usually resolves over the next 3–4 days.
It is our desire that your recovery be as smooth and pleasant as possible. Following these instructions will assist you, but if you have questions about your progress, please call our office. A 24-hour answering service is available to contact the doctor on call after hours. Calling (713) 665-9200 during office hours will afford a faster response to your question or concern.