BIOPSY POST-OP INSTRUCTIONS
Please read and follow these instructions carefully. You have undergone a surgical procedure, and the quality of recovery depends largely on self-care. The after effects of surgery can vary from person to person; therefore not all of these instructions will apply to you. Please feel free to call our office at any time if you feel you are experiencing any unusual symptoms following your treatment today and/or if you have any questions.
CONDITIONS TO BE EXPECTED
- If a local anesthetic was used, you may experience complete numbness or decreased feeling for several hours after the procedure. The majority of discomfort will typically peak around the second or third day following the procedure and can last through a week afterward or sometimes longer depending on the type of procedure.
- Directly after the procedure it is advised that you apply a cold compress or suck on ice chips if your procedure was inside the mouth to help prevent swelling and bruising. You should ice the area up to two days following your procedure.
- If an incision was made and stitches were placed you may experience slight oozing or bleeding between the sutures. This is to be expected, but can be stopped by placing a piece of sterile gauze over the area and applying slight pressure for at least 20-30 min straight.
- Slight swelling, bruising, and redness surrounding the removal site are to be expected. If your lesion was removed inside your mouth a slight scab, whitish in color, will form over the area. This is perfectly normal and will go away with time. If your lesion was removed from the outside of your body it is important to try and prevent scabbing or crusting by keeping the area moist with Bacitracin Ointment. If the removal site does develop a scab or crust, IT IS VERY IMPORTANT that you do not pick, scratch, or pull off any scabbed area(s) or you will greatly increase your chances for permanent scarring. Please allow the scabbed area(s) to flake off by themselves.
- Around 2-5 days after the procedure, the area will be likely to itch. This is perfectly normal and is part of the healing process. DO NOT itch the area as you can introduce bacteria to the removal site as well as remove the scab as mentioned above.
- Depending on the severity of your procedure, you may be given pain medicine to take at home to decrease the pain. If a pain medication is prescribed, take your first pill prior to the numbness wearing off as it is much easier to stay ahead of the pain then to attempt to catch up with it once you are in pain. Please follow the medication instructions carefully which will be printed on the bottle.
- Make sure you eat, drink, stay hydrated, and rest. The length of recovery is shortened by adequate rest.
- Depending on the removal/surgical method that was used often depends on the need for a follow up visit with our office. A variety of stitches that can be used for treatment are not dissolvable, thus will require removal by our office. Also, if your lesion was removed and sent in to a pathologist for diagnosis, we will typically have the results from the biopsy back to us in about one week to review with you. Therefore, if non-dissolvable sutures were placed, or a biopsy was sent to the pathologist we will schedule you for a no charge follow up visit one week from the procedure date.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call our office between the hours of 9am-4pm at 907-452-4101. For questions or emergencies after hours you may call our after hours line at 907-978-5829.