Cleft Palate Surgery with Hip Graft (Post-Operative Instructions)


  • Do not chew anything until you are seen at your post-operative visit 2 to 3 weeks after your surgery.
  • You can eat foods the consistency of applesauce and pudding (use a blender) and follow food with water to prevent foods from sticking to the stitches and to keep the mouth clean.
  • Do not use straws.

Oral hygiene

  • Do not use a toothbrush in the area of the surgery. You can brush lower teeth and back upper teeth opposite the surgical site only. We will look at surgical site at your post-operative office visit to let you know when you can brush other areas.
  • Begin mild rinsing with warm salt water 3 days after your surgery (dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of table salt in 8 ounces of warm water). Continue to rinse with the salt water solution after all meals and at bedtime.

Post-op care

  • Apply ice to the surgical side of face the first day after surgery and early on the second day only. Do not touch the surgical site in the mouth with your fingers. Using your tongue is okay, but do not play with the stitches. Do not pull at the stitches. They will come out on their own.
  • Do not blow your nose. If needed, use a moustache dressing for nasal bleeding (fold a 3 x 3-inch gauze or 4 x 4-inch gauze in half under your nose and tape to your face).

Dressings, bandages, and stitches

  • Keep the hip bandage dry. You may remove overlying clear dressings in 5 to 7 days. Do not remove the steri-strip bandages over the incision. They will curl. Get help if needed to trim the curled edges.


  • Do not participate in contact sports or use the gym for 3 months from date of surgery.
  • Do not swim under water for 2 months from date of surgery.
  • You will be out of school for one week after date of surgery.
  • You can run or ride a bike 5 to 6 weeks following surgery.
  • Do not take baths. Showers are okay, but keep bandages dry.
  • The use of crutches is determined and reviewed by Physical Therapy.
  • It's okay to walk upstairs slowly.


  • Take antibiotics as ordered.
  • Take pain medications as ordered.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our office.