1.3 Postoperative Care

Postoperative care is the care given after a surgical procedure. The type of postoperative care depends on the type of surgery, as well as health history. It includes pain management and monitoring of the surgical site. Postoperative care begins immediately after surgery and continues until the patient is discharged from the clinic.

Duties of the CDA during the Postoperative Phase:

Assessment in the postoperative phase begins with monitoring  the patient’s airway, breathing, circulation, followed by vital signs and responsiveness (sedation)

The patient must be constantly monitored until they are awake, responsive, and breathing well (sedation)

Assess vital signs, bleeding, pain, orientation and mobility and report any concerns

The CDA’s responsibility at the conclusion of the postoperative phase:

Make sure that patient has a ride home and will remain with a responsible adult (sedation)

Review and give written Post-Operative recovery instructions

Review and give written Post-Anesthesia instructions (sedation)

Ensure that the patient has their prescription for pain medication and post-surgical antibiotics (optional)

The most common postoperative complication following Oral Surgery is nausea and vomiting!

The risk factors include being female, a history of motion sickness, and length of procedure. Maintaining a soft diet following surgery and especially when taking pain control medications is key to avoiding nausea.


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Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery - A Handbook for Certified Dental Assistants Copyright © 2018 by Kathryn Truant is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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