Will I be swollen and in pain after my surgery?

October 9, 2019

The main problems after surgery are numbness and swelling and often some bruising, rather than pain.

Everyone is different, but most patients find the swelling is at its worst at 36 – 72 hours after the surgery, and then gradually goes down over the next fortnight.

To help to reduce the swelling you will be given a Hilotherapy mask that fits closely over your face. The mask is connected to a Hilotherapy machine that pumps cold water around the mask, reducing pain, swelling and bruising.

Your final appearance will initially be masked by the swelling and may take several months to emerge as the shape of your face adjusts.

Pain and discomfort is worse during the first 24 hours, and will be controlled with regular pain killers. You may find it uncomfortable breathing through your nose, especially if you have upper jaw surgery and you may have a sore throat following your anaesthetic.

You may also feel uncomfortable and “sorry for yourself” for the first few days, but this normally settles over time. In our experience, older patients seem to find these symptoms worse and take longer to get over their operation than younger patients.

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Nicholas Lee: Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon, Sheffield UK