Buccal Graft Post-Operative Care

The use of tissue grafts is often required to repair a urethral stricture during a urethroplasty. The most commonly used tissue is from the inside of the cheek or the inner. This tends to be one of the more painful aspects of a urethroplasty if it is required for your surgery.

Controversy exists in medical management of the site or oral tissue harvest. Some practitioners will routinely close (stitch) the harvest site, and others will leave it open to heal naturally. Others will also apply a dissolvable product to assist with healing that will fall out several days after surgery. No research has definitively answered which is the best method of management, which is why it is often decided on surgeon preference.

Regardless of how the harvest site was managed, the post-operative care is the same. There are no true medical indications or contraindications to diet based on the oral surgery. Patients will start off eating softer foods and advance to a normal diet as tolerated. In general, it is wise to avoid the following food items as they can exacerbate your pain: crunchy and salty foods (chips and nuts) and spicy foods. These will exacerbate your pain in the early days after surgery.

Your surgeon will often prescribe a special mouth wash in the early days after surgery. This is used to help keep you wound “clean.” For pain relief, many patient will find using over the counter “Orajel” (or a generic equivalent) in the early days after surgery in addition to your oral pain medication.

You will find that your oral graft site will heal more quickly than you imagine. If will be “covered” with tissue in about a week, and the harvest site will generally smooth out over time. A small amount of bleeding is common from the harvest site early after surgery, but will resolve quickly. If this becomes heavy, please call your physician.