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!


argentinito said...

muy buenos dientes!

Summer said...

Thanks so much for answering my questions Leah. My surgery is next Wednesday and I'm starting to get really nervous. Your blog has helped me prepare myself though - so thanks again!

tanya said...

Leah thanks so much for the information, i ll have the same surgery. I want to ask you many questions but dont speak english so i ll try and also i wish that you understand me.
when i have found your blog the last year and helped me to get decided.

Leah said...

Leah (my name is Leah too!):
I'm thinking about getting this surgery done too... it was recommended by my doctor to correct my sleep apnea. I'm currently a high school teacher: do you think I could return to my classroom after 6 weeks and talk enough to teach? Or would this likely be too painful still at that point?


bestofboth said...

Hi Leah,

Thanks for writing this blog this is really informative and encouraging. Your surgeon did such a great job - you look great! Who were your surgeon and orthodontist and where are they based? I'm just beginning on this whole journey myself and it would be great to go with someone who i know has a proven track record. I am based in Los Angeles.

Thanks and best wishes!


Hi leah,
My name is karthik.Iam from india.I am over conscious of my receding lower jaw.I consulted a maxillo facial surgeon during early teenage years.But he told me to consider it when I am grown up.Now I am thinking of going under the knife because like you I am tired of pushing my lower jaw forward most of the time.I have searched youtube videos and got a hell of a shock.Anyway I am desperate now and as long as Iam under anaesthesia and come out alive after surgery,I don't think my fear matters.Just as you, I have also seen before and after photos and would like to undergo the operation.I have consulted a surgeon recently and he has given me 5 months time to think it over.He did not tell me how he would bring the lower jaw forward.All he said was it was all going to be done inside the month.But how is he going to crack open the lower jaw from behind by just operating internally.I would like to know the answer for this.My email id is would be great if you can share your knowledge and experiences.Thank you .

Oliver said...

thanks for keeping this blog, it's really helpful! my own surgery is on the 22nd.

hylzz said...

Hi Leah! i just wanted to say thank you for keeping this blog. i'm having both upper and lower jaws as well as the base of my chin advanced in 6 days, and i've been doing all the research i can instead of freaking out. the information is really helpful and gives me a good general idea of what the next 6 months hold for me. it's also comforting to know i'm not alone in this, and you've inspired me to keep a blog of my own. i linked to yours, so again, THANK YOU!

Lissa said...

I know this was so long ago, but is there a way to post your surgeons before and after pics, and X-rays?

Alex said...

Great information on your site here. I love this post because we can get some useful information from your blog. I expect more post from you guys.
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