Soft Tissue Procedures
What is a soft tissue procedure?
A soft tissue procedure is one that does not involve teeth or bone.
Why am I having a soft tissue procedure?
Typically a soft tissue procedure is required for the complete removal of a lesion affecting the lining of the mouth. Some lesions might represent basic overgrowths of the lining of the mouth or alternatively might take the form of mucocoeles.
Mucocoeles are lesions that arise from blocked-up minor salivary gland tissue and commonly occur within the lower lip or lining of the cheek following an episode of minor trauma such as an accidental bite.
How long will the operation take?
An appointment for a soft tissue procedure under local anaesthesia usually lasts 60 minutes.
Will there be any stitches?
Stitches are usually required as part of these procedures and will be dissolvable. These stitches can take up to 2 weeks to go although sometimes they break down much sooner.
Will I be in pain afterwards?
You should not feel any pain immediately after the operation as the area of surgery will be numb from the local anaesthetic. As this numbness wears off the area might become uncomfortable and you should then take painkillers. We will supply you with these together with information about doses.
Could there be any after-effects?
This depends on the procedure and if there are any issues in particular to be aware of they will be discussed with you beforehand.
- There may be some swelling, bruising and discomfort in the area of the surgery; this bruising is usually at its most obvious 2 to 5 days after the procedure and should then start to subside.
- There may be a small degree of scarring in the area of the surgery which should resolve over a 6 month period.
- There may be some altered sensation in the area of the surgery due to the procedure or the related bruising affecting the nerves that carry sensation from that area. If this altered sensation occurs it is usually a temporary condition but can still take 6 to 12 months to resolve itself.
- In the longer term following a soft tissue procedure there is always the potential for a new lesion to develop either in the same area or at a new location.
When can I return to work?
This depends on your occupation and how you are after your treatment; it may be possible for you to return to work the next day. We will give you appropriate advice for your particular circumstances.