SARPE Surgery Tips and Advice

If you've decided to get SARPE surgery for your teeth, chances are your health care professionals didn't give you a lot of useful advice. Here are some tips from someone who had SARPE on December 19, 2013:

-Have someone bring you to and from the hospital. Depending where you live, you may be admitted overnight or you may go home the same day. You will want someone to drive you.

-Take at least 1 week off work, preferably more.

-It is immensely helpful if there's someone who can help take care of you the first few days. You'll need fresh ice packs, fresh water, etc, and it can be hard to keep getting up yourself, especially when it's hard to get comfortable. I took care of myself the first night and most of the next day. Taking care of yourself is doable, but you'll appreciate the help.

-Don't expect to be able to talk too much in the days following surgery. Have someone else be able to answer your phone for you.

-Make sure you prepare your room/home before you go in for surgery. You want everything to be ready for you when you get home from the hospital. Don't tell yourself you'll do something when you get home, you want to be able to relax and rest. For the first 24 hours or so for me, every time I got out of bed, the bleeding would start again!

This is what I had set up in my bedroom on my nightstand:
-bottle of extra-strength Ibuprofen: for swelling.
-bottle of extra-strength Acetaminophen. I used this in combination with the Ibuprofen after I didn't feel I needed the Percocet anymore.
-Liquid decongestant: your nose will be clogged for awhile after surgery. I bought Meijer brand Mucus Relief "for cold and sinus." It only kind of worked.
-Gravol: some people feel nauseous from the anesthesia or from their prescribed painkiller.
-Ex-Lax: narcotics make you constipated.
-Stool softener: to complement the Ex-Lax (note: neither the laxative nor stool softener did what they were supposed to!)
-plastic bowl with a warm, wet dark wash cloth in it: for bleeding, drooling.
-larger dark towel: to wipe up drool and blood, to put around my neck while sleeping. You'll end up sleeping in odd positions the first night in order to be comfortable. The towel comes in handy to support your neck, and work as a bib.
-Box of Kleenex
-Vaseline: your lips will be very dry and chap stick isn't thick enough, and is difficult to apply
-Garbage can
-Big glass of cold water
-Any other prescriptions you're on (I was given pencillin, Percocet and Periogard rinse)

-I was given a spit bowl, an icepack, and more medication which I put on another table next to my bed. I also had my laptop, iPad, phone, and charger cables ready to go and easy to reach. You'll be spending a lot of time in bed so you want to be as comfortable and entertained as possible.

As far as grocery shopping, I had on hand:
-Total nutrition shakes (I picked Atkins but Slim Fast, Ensure, etc are all good). These are a god send the first few days
-Protein powder and smoothie ingredients
-Baby food
-Apple sauce

-You will probably know ahead of time what you're likely to want most. You will probably be less hungry than normal so don't go too crazy until you figure out what you like eating. Sticking a spoon in your mouth can be difficult the first few days so don't rely totally on foods you'll have to eat with a spoon. Some people recommend a rubber tipped spoon but I didn't use one.

-I'm not sure if this is the case with everybody, but my sinuses were very sensitive after surgery. The places on my face that were numb and swollen were also extremely sensitive. Washing my face was a painful chore. I found that those facial wipes worked best for getting makeup off without having to hurt myself too much.

-By far the best tip I can give you is to buy a turkey baster for yourself. I can't believe I forgot to include this earlier. It sounds silly but it makes drinking water a thousand times easier. I felt like a goofball buying myself a turkey baster but I'm using it even now, 7 days after surgery. Having the water bypass your lips to go right to the back of your mouth makes it so much easier not to drool water all over yourself constantly, which you will do.

-Any other questions, feel free to ask!


  1. Thanks for all the tips! I go in for sarpe March 28!

  2. Thank you for the advice, I wouldn't even know where to start.

  3. Wish I read this before my sarpe operation.

  4. How bad is the sweeling after the op ..and does it take long to recover back to normal looking

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Hey Jamie,

    I just had a question. You say that you're from Sarnia. I'am actually from London! How was the cost of your SARPE surgery covered? I am under the impression that if its cosmetic that it is not covered under our health care program.

    1. SARPE is covered by OHIP but sedation is not. At least that's the case for me. I'm from London, and I go for my SARPE and 6 teeth extractions on Oct.17th. It's a little over $2000 for the extractions and sedation.



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