Orthodontics - Orthognathic surgery

Orthodontics - Orthognathic surgery > My story > APRIL 14, 2008 - Not so good news

My story

APRIL 14, 2008 - Not so good news

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Hi all,

I said that I wouldn't write again so soon, but there has been an unexpected turn of events in my story. This morning, my surgeon's secretary called me to tell me that my surgeon wanted to see me today or tomorrow (Tuesday) at the latest. I didn't have a good feeling about this last minute appointment. He practices in two different places, and he isn't usually around on Mondays...

I went to see him at 5h pm. His secretary and his assistants weren't there and he seemed to be there just for urgent cases because he was wearing "normal" clothes and he wasn't wearing his white coat. When I arrived, he asked me: "Did you come alone?" At this hour, my husband is not back from work yet, so yeah, I was alone. First weird comment... Then, right after I sat down on the examination chair, he asked me to take off my glasses. During previous post-operative follow-up appointments, he had never asked me to take off my glasses. Second weird comment... He looked at my face for what seemed like an eternity, and he examined my wounds, the inside of my mouth and the position of my jaws very carefully by insisting more on my jaw joints... And then, he told me: "Let's look at your X-rays." Third weird comment...

He explained to me in great detail what he had done during the surgery, what results he was expecting, etc. It seemed like he didn't want to say something dreadful. And then he told me something that I had feared all along but I had somehow expected. I will have to go through another surgery! Much shorter (1 hour in the operating room) and resulting in a less painful recovery, but still, it's another general anaesthesia in the hospital... My surgeon will have to remove the plates and screws placed on my lower jaw to correct its position. My recovery time for this second surgery will be a few days and the pain, as well as the discomfort to eat, will be similar to having impacted wisdom teeth removed. With a little bit more extra swelling at the bottom of my face.

This second surgery is required to correct an inadequate alignment between my upper and lower jaws. Last week, my surgeon had told me to make sure that I bring my lower jaw as forward as possible so my teeth would close correctly together. All week, I have followed his instruction, but I must admit that sometimes, it has given me a headache and it has put a lot of tension on my jaw joints (where both jaws are joined together). After the surgery, I had elastics that kept my upper teeth aligned with my lower teeth, so the X-rays didn't show anything abnormal. My surgeon also knew quite well that with the swelling, it was possible that my teeth wouldn't close perfectly together. But after 4 weeks, he told me that the normal gap between the upper and lower teeth should be from 1 to 2 mm. I currently have a 6-mm gap... So, it was normal for me to be in pain when I tried to close my teeth together...

I will therefore be back on a liquid only or very-soft food diet for 4 to 5 days. I will have a few elastics to hold my upper and lower teeth together once again, but my surgeon told me that it wouldn't be as bad and as tight as 4 weeks ago. In the meantime, I will try to eat as much as I can to gain weight rapidly and to give me energy so I can recuperate as soon as possible after the second surgery.

When he looked at my face, my surgeon also saw that my nose is still very much turned up on one side. When my husband and I looked at pictures of me before the surgery over the weekend, we noticed that my nose has always been a little like that. However, since I have to go to the operating room once again, my surgeon told me that he would maybe put stitches beside my nose to bring it down a little bit more.

My surgeon seemed disappointed to tell me the news, he asked me how I was taking all this and he told me that it was very difficult for him to know exactly what led to this inadequate alignment. However, he told me that my teeth are very well aligned and that I probably wouldn't have my braces for a long time after I recover from all this. If I stayed that way without having a second surgery, there is a chance that my orthodontist would be able to correct the gap between my jaws. However, it could mean that I would have to have my braces for several additional years... When I think about how annoying wearing braces can be, I think that I prefer not feeling well for another 4 to 5 days than to endure my braces even longer. Maybe it's part of the reason why I reacted in a weird way when my surgeon told me that he would have to operate on me again. I simply said: "Oh ok" without panicking. I usually panic easily for much less! I remember the time when my surgeon told me that he had to remove my wisdom teeth because their roots would be in his way of cutting the lower jaw bone; I thought I would faint! But today, I reacted such as he had just told me that I had a cavity when he told me he would have to operate on me again!

From now on until my second surgery, I stay on standby with my cell phone if I need to go out or with the normal phone when I'm home. As soon as he hears back from the hospital, my surgeon will call me to inform me. He told me that it would probably be before the end of the week and that I would go back home on the same day of the surgery, but I could stay overnight in the hospital (I would leave the hospital very early the next morning) depending on when my surgery is going to be during the day.

Before I left my surgeon's clinic, I told him: "Well, when I get my braces removed, I will be able to say that I had it all!" He laughed and said: "Oh yeah, you will be able to say that you had an "all-dressed" treatment, that's for sure!"

So, if you have any positive thoughts left, I might need them. And I surely hope that it's going to be my last surgery for a long time!

Have a nice evening,


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