Post-op preparation tips?

Hi. Finaly I’m at the finish line of this long ES journey and will have my surgery at the end of this week - June 7th.
I want to get some advice how to prepare best for post-surgecal period to have these weeks go smooth and easy.
Some general questions: What kind of pain killer would be the best? what food to prepare? Ho soft pillow should i get? how much ice do I need in freezer for smoothie? ect.
I know I’ll get some instructions from hospital, but still interested in your personal experience.

Thank you.


There is extra info in the Newbies Guide Section, & the past discussions have loads of info, so it’s worth searching for ‘what to expect post-op’ or something like that. Seamom also did a surgery shopping list so that’s a good one to look up too.
I used a wedge pillow & a v shaped orthopaedic pillow- the more propped up you can be the better it will help with swelling, & I found the v shaped pillow seemed to help with not putting pressure on the sides of my neck.
Most people find ice packs are helpful with swelling so stock up on those!
Soft foods are a good idea, especially if you have intra-oral surgery. Mine was external but I still had pain chewing & couldn’t open my mouth wide with the first surgery, so had lots of smoothies, yoghurts, & soft foods like scrambled eggs. Popsicles are pretty popluar, although I find ice makes nerve pain worse, most find it helpful! For my smoothies I used a juicer, then blended that with bananas & yoghurt.
Meds are very individual, & different doctors have their own regimes; steroids do seem to be prescribed quite often post surgery for swelling. Bear in mind that some painkillers can make you constipated so maybe take something for that depending on what you’re prescribed. I didn’t need too much, but everyone is different, & you’ll need to speak to your doctor.
And don’t overdo it too early, there will be ups & downs, the healing does take quite a while!
Hope this helps a bit, & I hope that your surgery goes well! Will pray for you…


Hi! I’m on day 5 post op and trying to keep ice on the site. I found this great wrap online that’s meant for jaw surgery I think? Taking the prescribed pain med called Norco. Soups and shakes along with a few other things like oatmeal so you don’t tire all those muscles, Thats about it. A place to put your feet up and something good to watch/stream to pass the time! We’d love to hear how it goes :pray:


That’s great news, MrNikolay! So glad your date is almost here. I think your surgery is w/ Dr. Cognetti (if I remember correctly). I believe he prescribes Percocet post op. Jules is right - every doctor has his/her pain meds of choice. Some people feel better i.e. have less side effects on one type than another. Those that are typically prescribed are Vicodin, Norco, Tramadol, or Percocet. My doctor prescribed Percocet because it tends to cause less nausea issues. If you know you have bad side effects w/ a particular drug, let the doctor know ahead of time so he can prescribe something else for you. If you have trouble w/ nausea from anesthesia, let the doctor know as well so he can prescribe post op anti-nausea meds. Jules mentioned constipation from prescription pain meds. This can be a real problem. Begin taking a laxative & stool softener soon after you get home from surgery & keep it up daily as long as you’re taking a prescription pain medication. This will help prevent other problems as you’re healing from your surgery.

I don’t believe Dr. Cognetti prescribes oral steroids (prednisone), but you can ask for them (no guarantees he’ll comply though). Taking prednisone post op really helped me w/ the swelling in my throat (yes, I had a problem w/ that even w/ external surgery).

My doctor also recommended never lying flat post op but keeping my head at a 30º elevation while sleeping or reclining. This also helped reduce swelling in my throat & neck. Ice worked great for me & many others though a few people prefer heat. Ice will help w/ swelling & pain. I used gel ice packs that you can easily buy at CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens or Target. I’d get at least 2 so one can be chilling while you use the other - 15 min on w/ a thin towel or pillow case between your neck & the ice pack - & at least 45 min. off. Do this cycle as often as you want during the day & night.

You don’t need ice for smoothies if you start with ingredients that are cold (i.e. cold water, milk, yogurt, ice cream, etc.) as the base. Add fruit, veggies, protein powder, etc. to make it more nutritious. If you want your smoothies colder, you can add ice as well.

Expect to be pretty down & out for the first week - days 3-6 are when your post op swelling will be the worst so keep to your pain meds schedule especially over that period. By week 2 you’ll start to feel a bit better. BE CAREFUL not to overdo once you do start feeling good. It’s easy to set your healing back by pushing yourself too much too soon after surgery.

You’ll do great! Please do let us know how things go for you after you have surgery. We’re here to answer questions & give you reassurance regarding any pain or post op symptoms you may have.

I’ll put your surgery date on my calendar so I can pray for you that day especially.



I had surgery last Wednesday interoral my specialist said eat toast . Biscuits yogurts and icecream for the first few days. I found this helps to take any debris away from the operation.
I was given co codamol and paracetamol. This is not strong enough for the pain. I’m on tramadol and paracelomal also was on pregablin. Before hand which I’m taking still.
You may feel ok the first 2 days as the aneastic will still be working so the 3rd day onwards be prepared for pain. My pain threshold is not good so I’m still in lots of pain I know when I need my pain killer tablets should we say.
I’ve tried to eat other foods but opening my mouth is still painful. Melon is cooling in small pieces.
Try little bits you will find your own way.
The pillow I just use a soft one and position it to get comfy.
Good luck with you operation and a speedy recovery. Take cRe and lots of love x x

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I find really cold and hot stuff stings the back of my throat where the stitches are so milky cup of tea helped me. Mint tea was nice too.

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Hope you heal soon & thinking of you…intra-oral recovery is different to external, the sore throat is painful! :bouquet:

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Thank you Jules x

Hi Anash1966 -

So glad your surgery is behind you! I’m sorry you’re in so much pain. I can’t compare as I had external surgery, but one thing I did learn during recovery was to take my pain medication more to head off pain (so before the pain ramped up) than waiting till the pain started. That’s all fine & well said, but I know that sometimes the pain kicks up a notch before it’s time to take the next dose which makes my example a moot point. In that case, sucking on popsicles or drinking something cold might help relieve your pain until it’s time for the next dose of pain medication.

I hope you begin to see some lessening of your pain as this week wears on. You should begin to notice a big difference in another week or so.

:hugs: :sunflower:

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Thank you so much x

Since I had so many swallowing issues…I asked for Hydrocodone in liquid form. It is hard to swallow pills after ES surgery. I did not use pain med too much. If the prescription said 1 tsp. I took half or 1/4 tsp.

I was very selfish with the pain med. Also, pain meds tend to get you super constipated. Drink as much water as you can. Daisani burned going down but, I switched to Aquafina and it went down smoothly. At the time, I did not know Dr. Runkle had removed my tonsils so, not too cold stuff or hot stuff.

I sat up and slept on the couch with comfortable pillows and made sure I rested as much as I could. I also listened to allot of healing tapes and prayed. I don’t think I used any kind of ice packs. I just took it one day at a time.

I pray peace and healing over you and you are almost at the end of this hellish nightmare you have been living with. I lived with ES for 17 yrs.

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Thank you Isaiah_40_31.
I have been to the GP who thinks I have an infection in my throat now so bloods are going to be taken and antibiotics have been given x so another battle to get over x x

Thinking of you, sending you a big hug…:bouquet:

Thank you guys all for your advise and support, it’s very helpful! Have many items from the list in my shopping cart.
I have my surgery with Dr. Cognetti in Jefferson hospital in Philly, 1 left side - external.


Oh dear! That would explain your extra pain. I hope the antibiotics work quickly & you have much less pain once the infection is cleared. No fun having a double whammy!!
Take care of yourself; keep resting & let someone in your family or a friend help you for another few days. The extra rest will do you good!


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