3 Pre and Post Surgery Tips

I'll be keeping a few pointers here that I've learned first hand from this recovery, mostly from my own mistakes as a forewarning not to repeat them.

Pre Double Jaw (Orthognathic) Surgery Preparation and Tips

  1. Maintain oral hygeine as long as you can in advance. Floss, brush, use mouthwash, etc. Keeping your mouth clean before surgery is just as important as avoiding infection as doing so after surgery.
  2. Your wisdom teeth must already be removed at least 9 months prior. Wisdom teeth removal compromises the integrity of the mandibles, around where the jaws will be cut. It also alters your jaw structure mildly -- you'll want to get all this out of the way before you do major jaw reconstructive surgery to avoid needing any repeat surgery and adjustments.
  3. Eat as much as you can to put on some weight, BUT I do not mean binging on unhealthy junk. Remember, staying in good health is also critical for recovery. Eat your vegetables, lean meats, healthy saturated fats -- just increase the amounts a little; you WILL lose weight after surgery
  4. Bring entertainment with you to the hospital. You will most likely be admitted for a day or two, with most of your first day not moving around much. While you might be sleeping most of the time, a movie, a book, will help. However, I do suggest avoiding comedy; laughing can seriously hurt your face.
  5. If you are having upper jaw movement, specifically upper jaw advancement, note that this will change the shape and width of your nose. The general rule of thumb is your nose will tilt up 70% of the distance it's advanced, and your nose will get wider. Ask your surgeon to perform an Alar Cinch. He or she should measure the original width of your nose, and cinch it back to that width during the surgery. The nose tilt should really not be that noticeable. 
  6. Relax.

Post Double Jaw (Orthognathic) Surgery Recovery Tips and Hints

  1. When standing up for the first 3 days after surgery, make sure you have a gauze mustache under your nose. Blood will be free flowing from your nose onto your clothing and floor.
  2. Read those antibiotics instructions: REFRIGERATE IF YOU NEED TO! Leaving it out for too long reduces its potency, which may or may not lead to complications. I left mine out for days before I realized I needed to, but avoided complications.
  3. Use saline nasal sprays liberally to clear out any dried blood to help with breathing. You don't want to feel suffocated.
  4. Incorporate prune juice into your diet starting from Day 1. You will notice you won't have to go for a  few days starting the liquid diet, and also from a side effect of the anesthesia; this is not healthy. That, or you will have to go, but you feel constipated. Exertions with the latter could lead to more trauma to your face.
  5. When feeding out of a syringe, wear a napkin over your front, and on your lap. Your chin is numb -- any spill and runs will go unnoticed, until you finally look down at yourself.
  6. Drink Ensure nutrition shakes as a supplement to whatever liquids you are eating. You need all those vitamins for recovery, especially if you want to have a good shot of regaining feeling and avoiding permanent nerve damages.
  7. Start walking and doing simple chores the moment you are able to -- blood circulation helps an insane amount with dissipating the swelling. Take longer walks after week 2. Take hot showers. Do not do any strenuous exercises.

3 comments:

  1. Why does blood flow from your nose in the first 3 days? I didn't think that oral surgery would produce a bloody nose from time to time. I'm trying to remember if I did have that problem when I got my wisdom teeth out. I'll let you know if I remember. http://www.greenmountaindentistry.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When doing oral surgery on the maxilla, when they break the bone they typically break where the sinus cavities are. Hence the bloody nose.

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  2. Wisdom teeth being pulled and jaw surgery are completely different. Jaw surgery is major surgery. If you move that much around your nasal cavities (think about how close your nose is to your upper jaw) it will cause blood. Please understand that wisdom teeth being extracted is a walk in the park in comparison to jaw surgery, or double jaw surgery.

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