Schedule an Appointment:(310) 204-4111

Post-Op Instructions for Neck Operations

Parotidectomy,  Thyroidectomy,  Parathyroidectomy, Excision of submandibular gland,  Carotid body tumors,

Branchial cleft cysts,  Thyroglossal duct cysts,  & Lymph nodes

Diet

Patients who have received general anesthesia may experience some nausea and occasionally, vomiting.  It is therefore preferable to eat a bland light meal or a liquid diet on the first day after the surgery.  Regular diet may be resumed the next day. Also, pain pills cause some nausea if taken on an empty stomach. It is preferable to take those pills with a piece of toast or some food.

Activity and Wound Care

Elevate the head as much as possible. Sit in a recliner or use two or three pillows when sleeping. Head elevation reduces bruising and swelling. Occasionally, you may notice that the bruises or swelling have migrated to other places ( usually lower regions).
You may have a dressing or your wound may be exposed.

For exposed wounds:

Keep the exposed wound dry.  Avoid showers. You may take a bath with lukewarm (not hot) water.  If accidentally, water reaches the wound, dry it  immediately with a clean towel.  Make sure you have someone with you in the house in case you feel drowsy or fainty from taking pain killers. Clean the wound once a day.  This is best done with a cotton swab dipped in 3% hydrogen peroxide.  If you have not received a prescription for antibiotic ointment, use over-the-counter triple antibiotic.  Apply a scanty amount on the suture line.  At times, you may not see the sutures because they have been placed inside the wound. On other occasions, there may be metallic staples instead of sutures. Occasionally, a thin film of clear adhesive is placed over the wound to protect it and allow you to take a shower.

Wounds with dressings or drains:

Unless specifically instructed, do not remove drains or dressings. Avoid shower and keep the dressing dry. Some dressings may be sutured to the skin.  Do not attempt to remove them. Drainage is expected for two to three days after surgery. Just kink the drain tubing, before detaching the bulb and emptying it.  By kinking the tubing, you prevent air and old drainage from being sucked back into the wound.

Wounds sealed with Dermabond acrylic coating:

Occasionally, the wound is sealed with a clear acrylic coat (Dermabond).  If this is the case, you may take a shower without protecting the wound.  Do not apply antibiotic ointment over the acrylic.  This acrylic coat will peal off in 10 – 15 days.

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. Occasionally, Phenergan suppositories may be necessary for nausea or vomiting.

Follow-up

Please schedule an appointment to be seen in the office:

PHONE: (310) 204-4111

We are unable to refill your medications on weekends or after hours.

For prescription refills, please call during office hours:

Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.