Before the operation:
2 weeks before the operation you should not take any ASA. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as Motrin, Ibuprofen (Advil), Naproxen or any medications containing these drugs can be taken up to five days pre-operatively. Celebrex and Mobicox may be taken up to the day prior to surgery. 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. There are many new blood thinners now being used which each have a different duration of effect. Please make certain you review this with the office, so you are only off them the appropriate amount of time.
Patients may attend a pre-operative tour at the hospital where blood work and pre-operative testing will be done if any has been ordered. Most healthy patients do not require a pre-operative appointment and will receive a reminder phone call or email to confirm surgery 2-3 weeks in advance.
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.
If there is post operative bleeding or a temperature above 38 degrees Celsius, 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 ten days 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 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
Pain Management After The Operation:
You will be provided some Tylenol 3 or Percocet but should try to use extra strength Tylenol or Celebrex as primary management for the first 2-3 days. Advil or Motrin are excellent options as well and can be used safely. Tantum rinse is often provided as well to gargle which is helpful to numb the back of the throat reducing the need for oral pain medications.