After Biopsy Surgery

Your biopsy specimen will be sent today for review by an oral pathologist before a firm diagnosis can be made.  A follow-up appointment will be made to go over the pathology report as well as check on healing of the biopsy area. Do not disturb the wound. Avoid rinsing and spitting until the day following surgery.  Do not try to look at the area of surgery or try touching the wound until you are seen for your follow-up. If stitches are placed, we will look at them at the follow-up appointment, however they are typically self-dissolving. 


Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Constant bleeding (where your mouth fills up rapidly with blood) can be controlled by biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 15 minutes. If bleeding continues, please call for further instructions.


Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery in the cheek areas. To minimize swelling, apply an ice pack, or a plastic bag filled with ice on the outside skin in the area of surgery.


Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids and crunchy food as these may cause bleeding. Soft and blander foods should be eaten during the first several days of healing, chewing on the side opposite the surgery.


Over the counter pain medications are usually adequate after a biopsy treatment. You should begin taking pain medication before the novocaine wears off.  You can take 1-2 tablets of 500mg acetaminophen (Tylenol) every 6 hours or 1-2 tablets or 200mg ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) every 4-6 hours after surgery as needed for the first few days.  Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection.  You can also swab the area of surgery with Orajel or Ambesol on a Q-tip or use a 50:50 mixture of sore throat spray and water used as a mouth rinse for management of discomfort, especially before a meal.

Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. The day after treatment, begin gentle brushing avoiding the area of surgery.  Warm salt-water rinses (one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) should be used at least 3-4 times a day for 1 week, especially after meals to help with tissue healing. 


Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. Strenuous exercise with increase your blood pressure and throbbing or bleeding may occur.  Routine exercise can begin again 48 hours after surgery.