1. The incision may be closed with sutures or sealed with tissue glue. If sutures were used, keep the incision dry for 3 days. After that, you may shower but should avoid spray directly onto the site. Pat the incision dry after. You may use a Q-tip dipped in peroxide to clean any dried blood from around the incision. Your surgeon will instruct you as to whether an antibiotic ointment is to be applied. If tissue glue is used, you may get the incision wet (shower) immediately after surgery and no incision care is required.
2. A prescription for pain medication may be sent to your pharmacy, however, most patients use Tylenol after the first day or two.
3. Sleep with you head elevated for the first 3 nights after surgery.
4. You will have a drain exiting the skin below the incision or behind your earlobe on the side of surgery. This is to remove any saliva that the remaining gland produces until it begins to seal itself. The drain will be removed 5 to 7 days after surgery. You may be asked/taught to empty and record drainage into the bulb reservoir. This will be explained as necessary. Call the office if you notice increased swelling over the cheek after the drain is removed.
5. You may have numbness over the lower cheek and earlobe after surgery. This may resolve over several months but earl numbness can be permanent depending on the extent of the surgery.
6. Approximately 10% of patients will experience some degree of impairment of function of the facial nerve. It generally will resolve 3 – 4 months after surgery.
7. Some patients may develop gustatory sweating (cheek sweating with eating) after a parotid surgery. This is usually not noticeable by the patient. Discuss with your surgeon at your follow up appointment if you experience this.
8. You should avoid strenuous activity or lifting > 10 lbs for 1 week after surgery. Your surgeon will allow you to return to work 1 to 2 weeks after surgery.