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27 April 2006 @ 09:42 pm
I have personal experience with these three Orthognathic procedures.
Lefort I Osteotomy
Bilateral Sagittal Split Ramus Osteotomy

My Surgical experience was typical. Checked into the hospital in the morning, waited. Waited some more! Got changed into a gown, waited in a new room. Two hours later I was in the O.R. (2 hours is long enough to start feeling nervous). I walked into the O.R. which fascinated me to no end. I love anything to do with medicine. Waiting for the surgery to start I was able to watch my heartbeat on the monitors, and chat with the nurses. My only wish was that I wasn't the one on the table, but alas, I was. 3 Hours later I woke up in my hospital room. I'm sure I was semi conscious in the intensive care unit post surgery, but I don't remember a thing.
I woke up swollen, with a nasty feeling in my mouth. It was so dry I could barely move my tongue. My mouth was not banded shut, it was actually swollen wide open. The dry mouth problem was quickly solved when I suddenly had the overwhelming urge to vomit. Luckly I was very clear headed at the moment, so I reached for my kidney tray and didn't get any blood on the floor. Yes, if you vomit after surgery, it will likely be all blood, since you won't have eaten for about 16 hours at that point. During surgery, even though there is someone there to suction out the blood, they can't get it all, and it collects in your stomach. The Lefort procedure also results in bleeding from the nasal cavity and sinuses for a few hours (or in my case 36 hours) and so that blood also drains right on down like post nasal drip. If it's any consolation, blood doesn't burn your throat the way normal vomit does. I promise that's the worst of it. You're over the blood and gore section of this experience by day two. Which is likely before you check out of the hospital, so there's always friendly nursing staff to take care of you.

Off home I went, to swell up like a balloon. The ice packs in the hospital were not the gel packs I would normally use for icing an injury. They were literally bags of lumpy ice. Economical yes, effective? Not so much. I attribute a lot of my swelling to not having a really cold ice pack to my face until day 3 which was after the swelling had already taken hold. After swelling happens you just have to ice it, and wait it out.

Eating was a challenge, as I found that my ability to swallow was compromised. All the muscles in my face and neck were swollen, and so there wasn't a whole lot of control there. This resolved itself within a week or so. Obviously there was no chewing allowed (not that I could have if I wanted to). Liquid diets arn't so bad. You definitely have a chance to make a lifestyle change if one is needed but you didn't have the motivation before. It's really hard to eat junk food on a liquid diet. You just won't want pop or anything fatty, after being in the hospital, your whole digestive system will tell you to take it easy. Trust me. I made sure to get enough calcium, and vitamin D, as I am trying to heal a whole lot of bone fracture all at once.

Two weeks post op, my wonderful Surgeon declared me a super-fast healer, as my stitches were completely healed over. My mouth looked almost as good as new from the inside. My only complaint was the intense tingling in my lower face. It was driving me CRAZY. Pins and needles to the extreme, twenty four hours a day. I had to take some chemical sedatives to sleep because there was no other way I was falling asleep. The tingling was the nerves regaining sensation, which lasted for about 3 weeks.

A month post op, the tingles have stopped, but total sensation has not returned yet. I still can't feel my gums or my lower lip and chin. Not to worry, the sensation will return in a few weeks or months, judging by my current rate of recovery. I'm looking normal again. Still swollen, but only my Surgeon and myself can notice where. I am still not eating solid foods, my mastication muscles just arn't up for it yet. But I am chewing on really soft foods like roast chicken (tiny pieces) and baked potato. The thought of eating a sandwich still scares me, all that crusty bread, makes me tired just thinking about it.

That's all for now.
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
little_nay on May 15th, 2006 04:30 am (UTC)
i get tired from eating these days - and it's just a month into my pre-op braces. i'm a slow eater anyway, and now it's even worse. i was proud though that i ate my entire (small) dish of penne with creamy mushroom sauce last night, when i was out with new people. that's the first time i've finished a meal in public in ages!