After Orthognathic (Jaw) Surgery

After surgery, you will be tired and you will not feel like doing any activities. Your face will be swollen and there may be some bruising. It is common to have a bloody nose for several days, in addition to bloody saliva. Your cheeks, lips, and/or chin will be numb, depending on where your surgery was. This is beneficial as it helps to minimize the amount of discomfort. All of the above is very normal.

  • Keep your head elevated for the first 10 days. Sleep with several pillows at night to keep your head above the level of your heart.
  • Do not bend over at the waist or lift anything heavier than 5-10 lbs for the first 2 weeks.
  • You may use ice on your face for the first 3 days. Apply for 15-20 minutes twice an hour.
  • Keep your nostrils clean as this will make your breathing more comfortable. Use diluted hydrogen peroxide and Q-tips to clean out the scabbing and secretions.
  • Brush your tooth 2-3 times daily with a soft toothbrush. Rinse your mouth well after eating.
  • Do not blow your nose. Sneeze with your mouth open.
  • Do not pull on your lips to see your incisions as this will cause the healing sites to open again.
  • Use all prescribed medication as directed.
  • Maintain plenty of fluid and calorie intake. You will need to eat and drink small amounts every hour while awake until you are able to tolerate more normal-sized meals.
  • Do not eat anything that requires much chewing for the first 2-4 weeks. Avoid any foods harder than soup, jello, pudding, yogurt, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, etc. You will be instructed on how to advance your diet each week during your follow-up exams.
  • If you experience a fever greater than 101.5 after the first 2 days past surgery, increased pain and swelling beginning 5-7 days after surgery, and/or new drainage with a foul order, please call the office.