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Orthognathic (Jaw) Surgery Instructions


After Your Surgery

Post-Operative Instructions

Second Week


Swelling should start to resolve and will lessen significantly by the end of the second week.


Bruising should start to resolve and be gone by the end of the second week.


Upper lip and face sensation should begin to return. Lower lip and chin may remain numb. You may experience tingling sensations in both upper and lower lips.


You may start to resume more of your regular activity as you see fit. Longer walks are encouraged. Still do not overexert yourself. Exercise is not recommended at this time.


Continue full liquid diet, and you may add or advance to a soft mechanical diet (scrambled eggs, flaky fish, well-cooked [soft] pasta, grits, and oatmeal—foods you can squash with your tongue and swallow without much chewing action). You must maintain a good protein intake along with plenty of hydration.


Continue hygiene as above. Frequent (every hour if possible) warm water or saline mouth rinses are encouraged. Continue to use chlorhexidine gluconate (Peridex) mouth rinse twice daily. Sutures may begin to dissolve and loosen toward the end of this week. They may trap food. If they are bothersome, your surgeon may remove them. You may resume your pre-operative hygiene routine with toothpaste, etc. A Waterpik® can be safely used at this time.


You will probably continue to use ibuprofen every 6 hours. The discomfort should be greatly reduced. Narcotics will probably not be needed—remember, they can be habit forming and cause sleep problems, nausea, and constipation. Consider using Tylenol in place of the narcotic if the ibuprofen is not quite enough. Your antibiotics should be finished and no more should be needed after the initial course.


You will be seen at the end of the second post-operative week. You may request bothersome sutures be removed. If everything appears to be normal, you may be scheduled to return 2 weeks later.

Third and Fourth Weeks


Continue soft mechanical/non-chewing diet.


You may begin to resume light, non-impact aerobics, such as walking, then biking or running on the treadmill. Start slow.

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