Patients, Care-givers: Please read the following information carefully. Never hesitate to contact the Patient Concierge if you are not clear about any aspect of the post-operative process.
Your initial post operative recovery period of the first 24 hours will be monitored by both your surgeon and anesthesiologist. The first post operative day you will have a repeat CT Cone Beam scan in our office to document by imaging the actual volumetric increase (typically 40-70%) in your upper airway. Our patients almost always can tell an immediate improvement in their breathing upon awakening from anesthesia in the operating room. You will return to either the Marriott hotel for one more night of next door recovery before going home or, if residing in the Denver area, you may return home the second night.
Your surgeon and Patient Concierge will contact shortly after you have returned home from Denver or Missoula. We will contact you at other milestone dates as well to answer your questions and to address any concerns. You are ALWAYS welcome to contact us with questions. Please, do not hesitate to contact us at any time if you feel something is not going as planned. Please note: it is against HIPAA rules and regulations to use traditional email which have patient information within them. Hence, please call us or we will contact you. If you are unable to articulate your issues with us, please have your primary care provider contact us: 1.855.481.7012 between the hours of 8:30am and 5:00pm Mountain Time.
Here is a list of potential issues you may experience after you have returned home, where we would recommend you contact us at 1.855.481.7012:
- Unusual or extended facial or gum swelling
- Pain medication refill
- Poor reaction to prescribed pain medication
- Oral bleeding
- Secondary infection in the mouth
- Excessive vomiting
- Unusual or unanticipated pain
- Premature opening of suture areas
What you can expect after surgery
Days 1-3: Decreasing pain discomfort easily controlled with oral opioid (narcotic) analgesics every 6-8 hours. Clear liquids including water, juices, herbal teas the first 12-24 hours are followed with a graduated diet thereafter containing dairy products, scrambled eggs, yogurt etc. depending on your appetite and pain level. Elastic bands are removed and replaced each time by you as soft foods are consumed. Typically, our patients lose about 10 pounds the first two weeks but the weight is readily regained the next several weeks if so desired. Some moderate facial swelling and perhaps, mild bruising in some cases, is to be expected.
Week 1: A one week post operative progress evaluation is usually suggested. For our out-of-town patients, this can often be performed via a Skype or Facetime computer connection with the surgeon and not require a return visit.
Weeks 2-6: Continued progression to an unrestricted soft food diet, including hamburger, pasta,etc., while the bone advancements are healing and filling in with new bone. By mid-week 2, 80-90% of the facial swelling is gone.
Week 6: Arch bars are removed, which does not hurt, in the office as the elastic rubber bands are no longer required.
FAQ/Frequently Asked Questions
The following “frequently asked questions” and other questions are reviewed in detail with you by your assigned Patient Concierge and/or professional medical staff care provider at the time of your surgery.
- What do I do if I incur an infection after I return home?
- What if my pain will not subside?
- What if pain medications make me ill or I have a bad reaction to them?
- When can I return to limited activity around the house and what are those limitations?
- When can I return to work?
- When is it safe to return to sports and other physical activities?
- When can I return to solid foods?
- Will my sutures dissolve and when?
- What if they don’t?
- Can I have sex during my healing process and how soon?
- What should I do with my CPAP machine during my healing?
- Can I drink alcohol and how soon?
- Can I smoke during healing?
- What do I need to tell my primary care physician after my procedure?
Tips for care givers
- The patient will need encouragement to keep up their rehabilitation regimen. Keep them in check with what your physician has advised.
- Takes notes of any unusual behavior or reactions to the pain medications.
- Do not allow use of alcohol during the patient’s rehabilitation.
- Do not allow patient to smoke during the patient’s rehabilitation.
- If you are preparing the nutrition, make sure to follow the prescribed fluid consistencies carefully. Make sure particulates are minimal once patient moves off of broth and juice.
- During the soft food phase (i.e. mashed potatoes, etc.), make certain food does NOT require chewing.
- You may be asked to provide assistance with oral rinses during the first week.
- Watch for unusual gastrointestinal issues beyond what is expended during the soft diet.
- Expect your patient to loose between 10 and 15 pounds. If excess weight is being lost, the patient may not be getting ample nutrition and may need encouragement to consume their required calories.
- Watch for weight loss in excess of 20 pounds.
- Watch for pain endurance beyond their normal threshold, especially after the first week.
- Help the patient to find productive activities during their lay up time.
Post Operative Oral Healthcare
The following oral health directions and many others will be provided to you in written instructions and reviewed with you and your care provider at the time of your discharge the day following your Get2REM procedure. Our staff are always available to you for post operative consultation via phone or email.
- Cleansing fluids to use:
- How to brush your teeth:
- When you can use traditional mouthwash:
- What to do when you see blood in your spit:
Non-chewable soft diet recommendations for normal diets
Non-chewable soft diet recommendations for diabetics