Parotidectomy

Care After

Refer to this sheet in the next few weeks. These instructions provide you with information on caring for yourself after your procedure. Your caregiver may also give you more specific instructions. Your treatment has been planned according to current medical practices, but problems sometimes occur. Call your caregiver if you have any problems or questions after your procedure.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

Wound care

  • Usually, your bandage (dressing) should stay on the surgical cut (incision) for at least 2 days. Your caregiver will tell you when it is okay to take it off.

  • Keep your incision clean after the dressing is off.

  • Wash it with mild soap and water. Pat it dry with a clean towel. Do not rub the incision.

  • You may need to put an antibiotic cream on the incision for a while. This is medicine that fights germs.

  • Check your incision every day to make sure that it is not red.

  • You will need to empty your bulb drain and record how much fluid drained from the wound. Clean the drain and bulb as instructed by your caregiver. Ask how often fluid should be measured and the bulb and drain should be cleaned. The drain will be taken out after about 3 days.

  • Do not take a shower or bath until your surgeon says it is okay. At first, take only sponge baths. You can probably shower about 1 day after the drain is out. You must keep the incision area dry.

  • Your stitches will be taken out after about 5 days.

Pain

  • Some pain is normal after a parotidectomy. Take whatever pain medicine your surgeon prescribes. Follow the directions carefully.

  • Do not take over-the-counter pain medicine unless approved by your caregiver. Some painkillers, like aspirin, can cause bleeding.

Diet

  • You can eat like you normally do once you are home. However, it might hurt to chew for a while. Stay away from foods that are hard to chew.

  • It may help to take your pain medicine about 30 minutes before you eat.

Other precautions

  • Keep your head propped up when you lie down. Try using 2 pillows to do this. Do it for about 2 weeks after your surgery.

  • You can probably go back to your normal routine after a few days. However, do not do anything that requires great effort until your surgeon says it is okay.

SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You have any questions about your medicines.

  • Pain does not go away, even after taking pain medicine.

  • You vomit or feel nauseous.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You are taking pain medicine but your pain gets much worse.

  • Your incision looks red and swollen or blood or fluid leaks from the wound.

  • Skin on your ear or face gets red and swollen.

  • Your face is numb or feels weak.

  • You have a fever.

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.