Benign lump

By the very nature of these conditions the postoperative treatment behaviour will vary as the lesions may be very simple conditions requiring minor surgery which could be expected to heal very quickly, or could be more substantial conditions. The rate of recovery will also depend on somebody’s condition before the operation and any complicating factors (such as a coincidental upper respiratory tract infection or a reaction to the anaesthetic).

Benign lumps of the soft tissue of the mouth, often removed under local anaesthesia will usually be uncomfortable but not painful a day or two after treatment. The stitches used will almost always dissolve themselves but actually can take several weeks to resorb. This can be tight and irritating, and the stitches may unknot themselves before they dissolve. This is because the saliva is a buffer (keeping acidity and basicity in balance) and the stitches are designed to dissolve in an acidic environment.

Benign lumps of the jaw removed through the mouth will heal in a similar time but often cause considerably more swelling and discomfort. Painkillers may be needed for 5 to 7 days.

Benign lumps of the neck constitute a more major operation but are usually relatively painless postoperatively. A drain will often be used, requiring an overnight stay in hospital. The drain is removed the next day usually. Stitches are removed no later than 7 days to avoid cross hatching scars, although running subcuticular (under the skin) sutures can be used to minimise this. Staples are similar to sutures and are removed be a special device quite easily. Generally, at least a week off work, longer if work involves heavy manual labour, is recommended. Normal movement and mobilisation should start about two days after surgery. Full recovery at two weeks is usual. The scar will settle to its best appearance at around 18 months postoperatively.