Postoperative Instructions: Lefort 1 Osteotomy

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Postoperative Instructions: Lefort 1 Osteotomy

Immediate Postoperative Care

  • Pain Management: You will be prescribed pain medication. Take it as directed by your surgeon to manage pain and discomfort.
  • Swelling: Expect significant swelling around the face and eyes. Use ice packs for the first 48-72 hours to help reduce swelling. Apply ice 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off.
  • Bleeding: Some bleeding is normal. If bleeding is excessive, apply gentle pressure with gauze and contact your surgeon if it persists.


  • Liquid Diet: Start with a clear liquid diet immediately after surgery. Gradually progress to thicker liquids and pureed foods as tolerated. Avoid using straws, as the sucking motion can disrupt the surgical site.
  • Hydration: It’s crucial to stay well-hydrated. Aim to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water daily.
  • Nutrition: Maintain adequate nutrition, which is vital for healing. Incorporate high-protein shakes and smoothies to your diet.

Oral Hygiene

  • Oral Care: Keep your mouth clean to prevent infection. Rinse your mouth gently with salt water or an antiseptic mouthwash several times a day, especially after meals.
  • Brushing: Brush your teeth gently with a soft-bristled brush. Avoid brushing over surgical wounds.


  • Rest: Rest is important. Limit your activities during the first week of recovery. Avoid bending over, lifting heavy objects, or strenuous activities as these actions can increase swelling or bleeding.
  • Sleeping Position: Sleep with your head elevated on pillows for the first week to help reduce swelling.

Follow-up and Monitoring

  • Appointments: Attend all scheduled follow-up appointments with your surgeon. These are crucial for monitoring your healing and for the removal of any surgical splints or sutures.
  • Signs to Watch For: Contact your surgeon if you experience any of the following: unusual discharge from the surgical site, persistent bleeding, worsening pain, or signs of infection such as fever and increased redness or swelling.

Long-term Care

  • Jaw Mobility: Jaw exercises may be recommended to improve mobility and prevent stiffness. Follow your surgeon’s instructions regarding when to start and how to perform these exercises.
  • Final Alignment: Avoid putting pressure on your jaw. Be cautious with chewing and try to eat soft foods until your surgeon advises otherwise. The final alignment and healing can take several months.


  • Antibiotics: If prescribed, complete the full course of antibiotics to prevent infection.
  • Decongestants: These may be prescribed to help drain the sinuses, which can be affected after maxillary surgery.


  • Smoking and Alcohol: Avoid smoking and consuming alcohol as they can negatively impact healing.

By adhering to these postoperative instructions, you can help ensure a smoother recovery process following your LeFort I osteotomy. Always follow the specific guidelines provided by your surgeon, as individual recommendations may vary based on your particular case and overall health status.