Although individual responses vary widely following any operation, about 10 days are required for return to normal activity following parotidectomy. The following instructions are guidelines to follow to assist you in your recovery.
ACTIVITY: For a day or two it is wise to restrict the patient to either couch or bed rest, but he/she may be allowed to go to the bathroom. Plenty of sleep is necessary and naps are often advisable. For the first few days, public places where the patient might encounter infection should be avoided. Strenuous activities should be limited for 2 weeks. Patients usually return to school/work in 1 week.
DIET: After discharge from the hospital, adequate fluids are essential and may be given in any form. Soft foods are tolerated best at first and should be encouraged. Diet can be advanced as tolerated. Sore throat may be present initially, but usually will resolve in 1-2 days.
PAIN: Pain and discomfort is variable after surgery. A prescription for pain medication will be provided. Use as directed. Avoid aspirin and aspirin products for 2 weeks.
WOUND CARE: After surgery you may have a drain, which prevents fluid from building up in the wound. This is removed after the fluid accumulation is minimal, usually the first day postoperatively. The neck incision should be cleaned with peroxide three times a day, followed by a coating of Polysporin ointment. This will improve wound healing and lead to a more acceptable scar. Wearing a bandage or dressing is optional. The sutures or staples will be removed approximately 1 week postoperatively.
FEVER: Very slight elevations of temperature during the first few days are usual. If the temperature goes above 101.5F, please contact us.
OTHER SYMPTOMS: Hoarse voice – usually rare and typically clears up after a few weeks. Difficulty swallowing – also rare and clears up in the first week or so.
FOLLOW-UP VISIT TO THE OFFICE: If a postoperative appointment has not been made for you, please call the office during the first few days at home to make an appointment for a postoperative check-up.
If you have any other questions or concerns, please call the office.