1. Pain: expect some mild to moderate pain after surgery. Use the prescribed pain medicine, which may be changed to Tylenol as pain subsides (usually 24-28 hours).
2. Diet:Patients may resume a regular diet as soon as they recover from anesthesia. Some sore throat may be present from the breathing tube being inserted during surgery.
3. Fever: Call for fever in excess of 102 degrees that does not respond to Tylenol. The main reason for fever after surgery is failure to clear secretions from the lungs due to inactivity.
4. Strenuous Activities:should be avoided for 2 weeks. This especially includes bending, lifting, or any activity that raises the blood pressure.
5. Bandage:There is a clear bandage called Tegaderm on the neck – shower normally while this is in place. It should be removed 48 hours after surgery, or sooner if any redness develops on the neck skin (this is irritation from the adhesive).
6. Removal: After removal of the clear dressing, white steristrips will be seen. These need to stay dry! Cover them with a dry wash cloth or towel while showering or bathing. These strips will be removed in my office one week after surgery.
7. Do Not Smoke: or be exposed to second hand smoke for two weeks. Smoke is highly irritating to healing tissue.
8. Sleep: Keep the head elevated while reclining and sleeping for 24-48 hours.
9. Icebag: You may apply a lightweight icebag to the neck intermittently for the first 24 hours. This can be comforting but not absolutely required.
10. Don’t Take: Aspirin, aspirin containing products, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, etc), naproxen (Alleve) or blood thinning medications for at least two weeks following surgery.
11. Bleeding: If bleeding is heavy, call the doctor’s office.
12. Nausea: nausea medication may be used 30-45 minutes prior to pain medicine to avoid the nausea side effect that some patients experience with narcotics.
13. Contact Sports: or other possibilities of neck trauma should be avoided for at least 2 weeks. Expect the neck to be sore to the touch for several weeks.
14. Call the Office: for any numbness or tingling around the mouth, in the hands, fingers, feet or toes. This can sometimes be a sign of low calcium.