Caring for your child after craniofacial surgery

Physicians and nursing staff members will furnish you with detailed instructions for your child's recovery period. After a surgical repair for a craniofacial problem is completed, proper protection of repaired tissue is essential to promote healing and enable good nutrition.

Your involvement in caregiving for your child will greatly enhance his or her comfort and willingness to eat and drink. Medication is available to relieve pain and discomfort. Postsurgical patients in the hospital usually are given pain medication intravenously until they start to drink. Following discharge from the hospital, patients are prescribed pain medication for use during the first week at home. The dietary guidelines and sample recipes we've compiled can be very helpful in caring for post surgical patients.

As the parent, you are very important to your child's recovery. You, better than anyone else, can help your child manage the stress of hospitalization and recovery. If your child is between the ages of 1 and 3 years, you can provide comfort by:

  • Staying with your child in the hospital
  • Bringing a favorite toy, blanket or other object
  • Holding and rocking your child
  • Distracting them from their surroundings with storytelling, music or TV

Our frequently asked questions will help you learn more about what can be done to resolve cleft and craniofacial problems.