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12 June 2007 @ 11:27 pm
Hi, I'm Yaz, I'm 17...

Kind've have a few questions. I'm due for surgery within the next two months, I don't know all the fancy names unfortunately, but I have an open bite and a mandible deformity of some kind, they broke my palatte and expanded it, they've done some skin grafting, a lot of orthodontic rearranging.

They're going to break my upper jaw to correct the open bite [I do know that's a class 2 on both sides, the surgeon said] and then break the lower jaw into segments to fit it into my face.

They told me they won't have to wire me shut, just a series of elastics--that I'd have to be on a strictly liquid diet for 6-9 weeks, the usual, and about loss of sensation in the lower facial areas.

I was wondering--Do any of you have any good tips on different kinds of liquids? The same old fruity drinks and whatnot would get old. And how long does the lack of sensation last, generally? My surgeon said it could take up to 6 months to fully regain feeling, and I just want to prepare. I'm excited and a little apprehensive. Just wanted to know what you all did to make your experience after surgery run smoothly? Anything you found particularly helpful.
bster: xraybster on June 13th, 2007 03:43 pm (UTC)
Hi Yaz...
First, I'm not the norm - I've had three jaw surgeries - all were different.
For my first jaw surgery I relied a lot on Ensure. I was on a liquid diet for just a week though. I found though that Ensure has a lot of sugar and it coated my teeth and eventually it tasted like yeast in my mouth. Gross!
When I had my second surgery, I was banded shut for 6 weeks and had to be on a complete liquid diet during that time. I used Ensure for about a week, then just got too grossed out by the sugar & medicine taste. Plus the coating it left on the backs of my teeth was especially hard to handle since you can't get back there to clean.
So I relied heavily on Carnation Instant Breakfast. It has just about everything that Ensure has (vitamin wise) and I felt great making it with whole Organic milk. It didn't leave any coating on the backs of my teeth and it comes in a variety of flavors. Later, when that got somewhat old, I made really thin milkshakes. Mainly peanut butter. I also added protein powder to give it more calories.

It's hard to say how long you will feel numb. I had my lower jaw advanced 20mm (!), which is my surgeon's record. I then relapsed and had to have more surgeries - I won't get into that in this reply though! So I am still pretty numb on my right lower side. My left side is completely back to normal.

I did a lot of reading on the Yahoo Orthognathic group and that really helped prepare me for what was going to happen - pre & post op.
Here are the links for that: http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/orthognathicsurgerysupport/ & http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/orthognathicsurgerysite2/

Here are a few tips that made my surgery go a little smoother:
-get zip & squeeze bags (www.zip-n-squeeze.com) These were a lifesaver for me.
-after you wake up from the anethesia & as soon as you are able, drink water. This will help the swelling stay down.
-ICE your face! This will also help the swelling stay down.
-Your swelling will peak at day 3, don't be alarmed.
-Have someone stay with you overnight while you are in the hospital.
-Have someone wake you up every 4-6 hours to take your pain medicine & antibiotics.

Please let me know if you have any further questions. I am more than happy to answer them! Good luck!

x_azriel_xx_azriel_x on August 3rd, 2007 02:44 pm (UTC)
Your tips were SO insanely helpful! I'm sorry to reply so late, I ordered some of the products and everything, been going over your list!

I'm getting incisions in 5 spots plus the pallate, so they're breaking my face in quite a few spots, I'm not sure how normal that is, only that my open bite is pretty severe.

Question though , since this is my biggest worry--how well did you eat, and how much weight did you lose?

I'm not very good at eating after operations, and my surgeon estimated even if I maxed out my calories that I'd lose at least ten pounds, I don't want to starve to death.
_teeze_teeze on June 13th, 2007 04:09 pm (UTC)
Ooh Ooh! I had the same surgery, I think. I had a severe open bite and had it corrected.

Gatorade/Powerade, juice, apple sauce, jello, yogurt = good foods

Honestly, my sensation was back really fast. If not right away. I don't totally remember, though. Since your'e young, you probably will regain feeling quickly.

The doctors gave me a Jaw Bra which was this "device" thing that wrapped around my head, and had pockets for ice and the ice would sit on my cheeks which helped swelling. I also had to sleep with two-three pillows, so the gravity would "push" my swelling down too. I don't know how much it helped; after a week or so, I said screw it (because I couldn't sleep very well) and I slept with my normal one pillow.

If you want to read the day of my surgery, feel free to. I added you to my friends list, because it is friends only.

Good luck!

one_porous_page: fawn in the grassone_porous_page on June 14th, 2007 04:41 am (UTC)
Hey you must be excited to get this surgery over with. I drank a lot of ensure, I actually like the taste. Other meal replacement drinks I found to be too sweet and they'd irritate my throat. Just about anything can be blended into a drinkable form. One of my favorites was chicken soup. I'd just throw a can of it in the blender and blend until it was smooth. Tastes great actually. If you want to blend up meat like chicken or beef, just cut it into chunks and add the corresponding broth & blend. You might not find these recipe's attractive right now, but a few days or a week without normal food and you'll be willing to blend just about anything.

Yes, sensation can take a while to return, but I found as I was waiting for it to come back that I basically got use to not feeling parts of my face. It took a month or two for the majority of feeling to return. I got total feeling back eventually, and I had maxilla, mandible and chin surgery.

Post again if you have more questions.
x_azriel_xx_azriel_x on August 3rd, 2007 02:47 pm (UTC)
I am! It's this coming Tuesday, August 7th, and it's so weird to think that monday will be the last day of my life I ever eat funny again.

I'm trying to come up with all sorts of ideas before hand to replace all the things I'll be craving later.

And, like the above comment, how much weight did you lose after surgery? I have no basis of comparison, and you absolutely don't have to answer if you don't want to.
one_porous_pageone_porous_page on August 4th, 2007 08:59 pm (UTC)
I lost about 15 pounds, which ended up slowing my recovery. I was in a lot of pain for the first two weeks (not a normal occurance, don't be worried, I'm just "lucky" like that). So because of the pain, and the strong pain medication I had to take for it, I couldn't manage to eat enough at first. So I HIGHLY recomend eating as much as humanly possible, you'll heal so much faster.

Good luck, and let us know how you're doing post surgery.