Before the operation:
2 weeks before the operation you should not take any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. These include Motrin, Ibuprofen (Advil), Aspirin, Naproxen or any medications containing these drugs. All herbal medications should also be avoided as they can interfere with normal blood clotting and anesthetic agents. If you take pills for high blood pressure, you should still take them the morning of surgery with sips of water. One of the risks of the surgery is post operative bleeding which will be less likely if these instructions are adhered to.
Patients will attend a pre-operative tour at the hospital where blood work and pre-operative testing will be done if any has been ordered. If this is not attended and we are unable to contact you to confirm that you are still going ahead with your surgery, it will be cancelled. ASPIRIN SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN AT ANY TIME TWO WEEKS BEFORE OR AFTER THE SURGERY WITHOUT SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS FROM DR. ROBICHAUD.
After the Operation:
You will be discharged the same day of the operation. You should have someone with you the first evening. Following surgery, you will have pain on swallowing and eating. Some patients will ear pain which is “referred” from the throat. You should use pain medications as needed and prescribed. It is often helpful to take them just before or with meals is possible to reduce stomach pain. Codeine and other narcotics can cause constipation, and it may be prudent to take a stool softener, such as Colace or Senekot, if that becomes a problem.
If there is post operative bleeding or a temperature above 38 degrees Celcius, call the office or go to the emergency department if it is outside of office hours. Make sure to drink plenty of cold fluids, popsicles/Jello. Fluids are very important to maintain hydration for the first week after surgery. Avoid acidic drinks, or foods, hot or spicy foods. Soft diet can be required for up to two weeks after surgery, but there is no specific restriction after surgery from eating a solid diet. Recovery time will vary for each patient. If you are up to eating more solid food in 3-4 days then it is fine to resume a normal diet as tolerated at that time.
Strenuous physical activity should be avoided for 2 weeks after surgery. The first few days should be spent resting in bed or on the couch. The head should be elevated at night by sleeping on an extra pillow for approximately 48 hours. Reflux of food into the nose can occur in the first 2 days to 2 weeks after surgery due to post operative inflammation but is extremely uncommon long term. Patients generally need 2-3 weeks off from work after this surgery.
It is normal to see white patches at the back of the throat following palate surgery. This does not represent an infection and does not require antibiotics. Smoking should be avoided. Follow up is generally 2-3 weeks post operatively. It is important that you don’t wait until that time to book your follow up as it will be very difficult to accommodate a timely appointment.