What is a soft tissue procedure? A soft tissue procedure is one that does not involve teeth or bone, usually with the purpose of investigating lesions affecting the lining of the mouth. It might involve the removal of a lesion such as a small swelling. However, it may alternatively involve the removal of a representative piece of a larger lesion for the purposes of investigation. The soft tissue that has been removed will be sent to an appropriate laboratory for examination under a microscope. A report will then be prepared regarding the nature of the lesion.
How long will the operation take? An appointment for a soft tissue procedure under local anaesthesia usually lasts about 30 minutes. A further appointment will be organized once the report is available from the laboratory to discuss this and to review the healing at the operation site.
Will I have to have stitches? Sometimes stitches are needed following a soft tissue procedure. They are usually dissolvable.
Will I feel pain afterwards? You should not feel any pain immediately after the operation as the area of surgery will still be numb from the local anaesthetic. As the numbness wears off, the area might become uncomfortable and then you should take painkillers.
Will there be after-effects? This depends on the nature of the procedure. If there are any issues that you need to be aware of they will be discussed with you beforehand. There may be swelling and bruising in the area of surgery, as well as some discomfort. Bruising is usually at its most obvious two to three days after surgery. Longer term, there may be a small amount of scarring at the site of the procedure after it has healed.
When can i return to work? This depends on your occupation and how you respond to your procedure. It may be possible for you to return to work the next day. We will give you advice depending on your particular case.
Download this page as a fact-sheet for printing – Soft Tissue Procedures Fact Sheet (PDF file)
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