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The sternocleidomastoid muscle

The sternocleidomastoid muscle runs from the base of the neck, at the level of the collarbone, to the base of the skull behind the ear. 



Follow guidelines as outlined in general anesthesia handout


Site care

Stitches are absorbable and will not need to be removed. There will be no bandage over the incision site. The incision will be supported by a single Steri-Strip, which will remain in place until the follow-up visit in clinic. You do not have to remove the Steri-Strip, but if it comes off, you do not need to replace it. 

There is no need to use topical antibiotics on the incision site. You may bathe the day after surgery. Pat the incision area gently to dry. 



Regular acetaminophen (Tylenol) is generally adequate or any discomfort. However, you will be sent home with a prescription-strength pain reliever.



For the first few days, we recommend limiting strenuous activities, such as running or jumping, which might produce strain in the neck muscle area. Most patients can tolerate normal, quiet activity right after discharge. Resume home stretching and strengthening exercises 5 days following surgery. In addition, resume formal Physical Therapy within 1-2 weeks of surgery. There are no therapy restrictions with regard to stretching, strengthening and range-of-motion exercises. 



Following any surgery, you should be able to urinate (pee) within 6-8 hours. If you’re unable to do so, contact the hospital as instructed below. 


Questions or Problems

Contact Telehealth Nursing at 651-229-3890 if you see any of the following:

  • Fever over 101.5 F
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Increased swelling
  • Severe pain

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care providers. If you have any questions, talk with your doctor or others on your health care team. If you are a Gillette patient with urgent questions or concerns, please contact Telehealth Nursing at 651-229-3890.