Patients will usually stay in the hospital for 1-2 weeks after their surgery.
After your surgery is done you will usually be sent to a recovery area in the operating theatre. When your condition is stable and you are fully awake you will be usually sent to High Dependency ward for close monitoring overnight.
It may be difficult for you to eat and drink after the surgery. Your surgeon may decide to place a nasogastric tube to facilitate feeding. The speech therapist will assess when it is safe to let you feed orally.
Some post-operative pain is expected. Your doctors will prescribe a combination of pain medications to help with that. If you still experience significant pain let the nursing staff know and they will contact your doctors to adjust your medication if necessary.
The physiotherapist will guide you to do deep breathing exercises and leg exercises. They will also assist in mobilising you when it is safe to do so.
It is alright to shower with soap and water but avoid scrubbing or excessive pressure over your surgical wound on your face and neck. After showering, pat the wound dry gently with a towel but do not rub the wound forcefully.
The dietitian will advise on feeding regime and if any special supplements are needed.
Avoid strenuous exercise or carrying heavy loads for the two weeks after surgery.
Standing and walking is alright.
Check with your doctor when it is okay to restart strenuous exercise.
Your doctor will usually prescribe you some medication to help with any pain you might have after the surgery. Take your medication as advised by your doctor. If you continue to have significant pain despite taking the medication, let your doctor or nurse know.
Seek medical attention if you have any of the following:
Fever (Temperature > 38 °C)
Increase redness and pain over your neck wound
Yellowish, foul-smelling discharge from the wound.
The surgical wound starts to open up.
Sudden swelling in the neck
Bleeding from the oral cavity.
Your doctor may decide put a surgical drain in your neck at the time of surgery. This is a tube placed to remove excess fluid to prevent it from collecting in your neck. The nurses will teach you how to care for the drain and how to measure the output of the drain.
Your doctor will remove the drain once the amount coming out every day is minimal.