Bechara Y. Ghorayeb, MD
OTOLARYNGOLOGY – HEAD & NECK SURGERY
1140 Business Center Drive, Suite 560
Houston, TX 77043

POST OPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS FOR CALDWELL-LUC OPERATION

Diet
Please remember that the Caldwell-Luc procedure is performed through a gingivolabial incision.  This causes pain on chewing or moving the upper lip. Soft food is recommended, however, if the wound is not painful and you are able to chew, you may eat a regular diet. 

Patients with Dentures
If you have dentures, make sure to bring them with you to the operating room.  Give your dentures to the operating room nurse to soak them in Phisohex .  The reason is that the incision is made in the gum and  the dentures are placed over the sutures while you are still asleep.  When you wake up, please keep wearing your dentures and do not remove them for seven days.  If they accidentally fall, replace them immediately. Immediate wearing of the dentures prevents your gum from swelling; otherwise, you will need to have new dentures made. 

Wound care and other information
1. Elevate the head at all times. Sit in a recliner or use two or three pillows when sleeping. Head elevation reduces bleeding and swelling.
2. For 6 hours after the operation, apply ice packs to the face between the eye and the lip.  This reduces the bruising and swelling.
3. The upper lip may be slightly swollen and numb.  You may also experience numbness of the upper teeth. 
4.  If you have nasal packs or splints, do not remove them. You may have to breathe from your mouth if the splints get occluded with mucus or clots.  Nasal bleeding is expected for two to three days after surgery. If this occurs, just change the drip pad as needed and keep the nostril clean. Clean the dried blood and secretions from the nostrils with hydrogen peroxide 3% and Q-tips.

Do I need to clean the sutures?
1. Sutures dissolve and do not need to be cleaned or removed. 
2. Please do not pick at suture line with your tongue or with a toothbrush.
3. You may use the mouth wash of your choice.  Please do not force the mouthwash between the lips and the gums, this may rupture the sutures.
4. If you wear dentures, do not remove them to clean them for one week.  If they accidentally fall, please replace them immediately.  If the gum swells, you may end up needing new dentures.

When can I take a shower?
You may take a shower anytime, with lukewarm (not hot) water. Make sure you have someone with you in the house in case you feel drowsy or faint from taking pain killers.

Medications
An antibiotic is usually prescribed for seven to ten days following the surgery. You may also receive a prescription for painkillers in the form of codeine or hydrocodone. These products cause somnolence, drowsiness and constipation.

Follow-up
Please schedule a follow-up appointment in seven to ten days. PHONE: (713) 464 2614
We are unable to refill your medications on weekends or after hours. We do not refill painkillers over the phone. For prescription refills, please call during office hours:
Monday-Thursday: 9:00 am - 4:30 pm;  Friday: 9:00 am - 3:30 pm.