This is your standard ARCHIVE page

  • Improving the quality of the scar

    Healing skin is very sensitive to sunlight and should be protected from the sun with high factor sun protection once the stitches have been removed.

    Your surgeon may ask you to massage the area with a clean finger to improve the healing process.

    If you are unhappy with the quality of your scar once the area has fully healed, then please ask your GP to re-refer you for a follow up appointment.

  • Is there anything I should look out for?

    If the wound opens up then you should contact our department.

    If there are any signs of infection, for example redness, pus or offensive smell from the wound, then visit A&E as you may need antibiotics.

  • What about glue?

    Glue does not need to be removed. It will drop off by itself when the wound is healed.

    It will be dissolved by soap, therefore avoid using soap on the affected area.

  • What about steri strips?

    Steri strips can be removed at home or by your GP’s practice nurse after 5 – 7 days.

    Moisten the wound with water and then carefully remove them.

  • When will my stitches be removed?

    Stitches should be removed on the ward, at a review clinic, or by your GP’s practice nurse. The surgeon will advise you how long they should remain in for.

    As a general rule the following applies:

    • Stitches on your face – 5 days
    • Stitches on your scalp – 7 days
  • How should I care for my wound?

    Depending on what type of wound you have sustained it may have been treated with stitches (sutures), paper stitches (steri strips) or glue.

    For all wounds the following principles apply:

    • Keep the wound dry and if a dressing has been applied do not remove it for at least 5 days.
    • Do not encase in waterproof plasters or bags as this will make the wound soggy.
    • Once a scab has started to form do not pick. This especially applies to wounds treated with glue.
  • Will I need to come back to hospital?

    Before you leave hospital, we will make a review appointment for you. We will keep a close eye on you for six weeks after treatment, to make sure that your jaw heals properly.

    If you have any wires, metal braces or screws put in to hold elastic bands, we will take them out at an outpatient clinic appointment when your doctors are happy that your fracture has healed. This usually happens about four to six weeks after your operation.

    If you had a cut made on the outside of your jaw during surgery, you will need to make an appointment with your GP to have the stitches taken out five days after surgery.

  • How long will I need to take off work?

    It depends on what type of job you do. You may need to take about two
    weeks off work and avoid hard exercise.

    Do not play contact sports for three months after surgery. You can start gentle exercise after two weeks.

  • Can I smoke after surgery?

    Smoking can affect healing after surgery and makes you more likely to develop an infection. We would advise you to stop smoking before and after your surgery.

    If you would like more information about stopping smoking please visit, call the Smokefree National Helpline on 0300 123 1044 or speak to a member of staff for more information.

  • Can I brush my teeth?

    It is important that you keep your mouth as clean as possible for the first few weeks after surgery to prevent infection. It will be sore and you may find it difficult to clean your teeth around the stitches. Try using a soft, small-headed toothbrush, such as a child’s brush.

    Starting the day after your surgery, gently rinse your mouth with mouthwash or warm salt water (dissolve a flat teaspoon of table salt in a cup of warm water) three times a day for five to seven days, to keep it free from food remains. We will give you mouthwash to start using in hospital and to take home with you. Please note that mouthwash does not replace brushing your teeth.

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    Nicholas Lee: Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon, Sheffield UK