Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sorry for the late response!

Hi everyone! I want to apologize for the delay on all your questions. I tried to answer them all at once but if there is something that I forgot, please let me know. I'm setting up a separate email:
you may either email directly to that account or post questions here.

Sorry again and here are some answers!
1) Immediately after surgery, do you have a normal bite? - Do your back molars touch?

This is somewhat of a complicated question… it really depends on each person. Immediately after surgery, my teeth were rubber banded in the “correct bite” to keep it stable. I have never felt that I have the “perfect bite,” but I think that it is almost impossible to expect one. My bite is exponentially better than it ever was prior to surgery. I wish I could help you more on that question but its very specific to your type of surgery, surgeons, and specific bite. Hope things worked out well!!

2) My orthodontist will have me slide my lower jaw forward to give me (and him) an idea on how it will look after the surgery. When doing this, of course there is a strain and it's not comfortable. After surgery (and healing), does the moving of the jaw forward feel normal and comfortable/relaxed? - Does it feel like you're jutting your jaw forward all the time?

I would always slide my jaw forward in social situations because it was more cosmetically appealing. Doing this over 10 years caused the muscles, ligaments, etc around my joint to stretch and the joint to become inflamed. This also led to more slipping and popping of the joint. One of the points of this surgery was that I would no longer have to jut my jaw forward because it would already be in that place. As long as YOU don’t force your jaw forward, it will feel normal (from my experience). It won’t feel like you are jutting your jaw forward because you won’t be, it will already be in that position. I will say though, recently I’ve had some popping return which I’m going to talk to my orthodontist and surgeons about at my upcoming 1 year post op appointments.

1)Was there anything in particular that you researched when going through this before surgery? Anything i might want to look for?

I spent HOURS googling mandibular advancements. I also researched possible complications associated with nerve damage, etc. There are a few videos on youtube of the actual procedure, but I would not recommend watching those unless you can handle seeing what really happens. I’ve always been interested in the body and medicine (hence why I’m a nursing student), but it was even a little too difficult for me to watch. But there are other videos by people documenting their recovery which was helpful.

I think a big thing to research thoroughly is the recovery period. There are lots of great sites posted by medical facilities, MDs, RNs, and patients detailing this process and what should be expected. Check out:

At the zip-in-squeeze site, you can order a book called “The healing jaw and a liquid diet”. This book was very helpful to me and mom my who took care of me. Be prepared to have a close friend or family member take care of you for most likely 2 weeks. Some recover sooner but this is a traumatic recovery (for most). You will need someone there the whole time. I am fit, young, and healthy and I could not even stand up by myself for a week.

I recommend just keep typing in key words to get the most well rounded search online. If I remember any of the other sites that I found useful, I will definitely post them.

2) What did they do with you on your first appointment with the surgeon?
They took molds and explained the procedure. I believe that was all.

I will take a look for those pictures! Sorry for the delay!


I’ve recovered well; thanks! Being a nursing student (seeing the real effects of smoking in the majority of the patients I care for) and having the lung collapse.. I would STRONGLY ENCOURAGE anyone to STOP smoking. Stopping would be the best thing you could do for your body. On another note, because I am also a college student, I would strongly recommend that you to have the surgery over the summer if you won’t be taking classes. I personally would not have been able to succeed in my classes and go through the surgery/recovery at the same time. I have heard of some people doing this over winter break (2-3 week break). Depending on how you would recover, its doable but it was a comfort to me to know that I had all summer to recover. This surgery takes A LOT out of you so I would definitely look into taking a summer off and doing it then. And if you are concerned about the social scene… my face didn’t really recover until 2-3months post op. The residual swelling can last up to 6 months, so that might be another incentive to have this over the summer.

I wasn’t really involved in the insurance side of my procedure. The surgeons and my father took care of that. But it was not a purely cosmetic issue for me either. They were only going to cover it because I was having pain daily and it was getting worse. However, about 6 months before the procedure, my ortho sent me to the Facial Pain center to address some of my pain issues. That did help, but surgery was the obvious choice for me for a more permanent solution. Even after the surgery, there is no guarantee that my pain won’t come back.

Again, I apologize that I took so long to reply. If anyone has any questions, please email me or post them here. Good luck to everyone!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I wish hospitals didn't have such big crushes on me...

Well, after a summer of jaw surgery, and a semester in clinicals for nursing school... the hospital couldn't handle not having me in it for my winter break, and it dragged me in here for a spontaneous pneumothorax. Its basically my lung collapsing for no apparent reason. I'm writing this blog because I have now been in the hospital since last Tuesday. Christmas is not quite the same in a hospital bed with tubes sticking out of your chest. But I'm lucky to have my family here with me. So yes, hospitals just can't get enough of me.

Thanks for endulging me while I try to pass the time here!

Again, if anyone has any more jaw surgery questions (or now-- I could give you a few tips on spontaneous pneumothoraxes ;) ) let me know.

Happy Holidays :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


awkward smile to show all the teeth!

SO the process started January 16th with braces... mandibular advancement surgery was May 16th.... today is October 14th. I am absolutely thrilled with everything. Its great to finally be done with it all, but in the end, I'm glad I did it. I would love to answer any questions that any one has who may come upon this blog. Everyone has a different experience, so its good to talk to any one that you can. I wish everyone else quick recoveries and great outcomes! Let me know if you have any questions and just leave a comment so I can get back to you :)

A special thanks to all you bloggers who helped me through the process. It was a great support!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

We have a date!!!

Yes, thats right. I finally have a date to go on. My debracing appointment is October 14th! Later than I was originally told, but its fine with me! I am counting the days...

My Ortho said that everything looks good, he just wants to let things settle a bit more before he takes my braces off.
Nothing to report from my last post op. It was literally a 1 minute appointment because of some office trouble. They will see me again in May for my one year post op appointment.

I haven't heard from many of you ortho bloggers lately, so I hope that means everything has just been going incredibly smoothly for you! =)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Nursing School = no time for ortho blogging.

Just a quick update... I have started my first semester of nursing school and am overwhelmed with work and studying! But... Sept 9th I have my next appt with my orthodontist. Hopefully we will hear some good news (fingers crossed). Then, my (hopefully) final post-op with my oral surgeon on Sept. 15th. I will try to update soon after.

Also, its been great to hear that my blog has been beneficial not only to me, but to others. If I can answer any questions, please feel free to ask!!

Quick funny story:
My surgery was done at my university's affiliated hospital. My nursing classes are in the same area. I went to grab a quick lunch and ran into my young, handsome doc. He then proceeds to check out my bite in the middle of the food court. I'm sure it was a funny sight.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Am I Crazy?

So since my surgery, I've felt that my nerve damage has been very minimal. But recently, I feel like there is more. I don't know if I'm just becoming more aware or if it has actually gotten worse. The only reason I don't think its just me becoming more aware is that I have been pretty much healed for a while now and I think I would have noticed this a long time ago. Originally I thought that the damage only affected the right corner of my mouth and a small area under it. Now its: right corner of mouth, ~1 inch square under it, the same area on the left side under mouth, and almost the entire area on the inside of my right cheek and right gum line. I don't think that any of these places are completely numb (except maybe part of my gums and inside cheek). The best way to describe it is that I can feel pressure put on it, but the lighter sensations just feel different or not at all.

Anyway, has anyone read anything to suggest that nerve damage could become worse after initial recovery? I'm really hoping that its just me... going crazy.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Well, put the celebration on hold...

I saw my ortho on Wednesday because of the spaces I was talking about. He put a power chain on and told me to wear rubberbands 24/7 for the next 6 weeks. So it looks like these braces won't be off until the beginning of October, at the earliest. I'm a bit disappointed, but once I saw those spaces I knew this would probably happen. I just want everything perfect (or perfect for me) after all is said and done with. If it takes more time to accomplish that, then I'll get over it.

I forgot how much power chains HURT! Woke up in the middle of the night because of the pain... had a flashback to the week after surgery. (Wasn't so much pain from the surgery, just intense discomfort).

Thats about the news that I have. Good luck to everyone this week!