Recovery Timeline

Following is a brief timeline of important events regarding recovery from double jaw surgery. If you only had a single jaw operated on, your recovery will be substantially quicker than this.

Keep in mind that every person recovers at a different pace, and also that every surgeon has their own agenda during the recovery process. This is simply the sequence of important events that took place during my personal recovery.

Day 0 (Surgery)

  • You’ll be eating/drinking through a syringe
  • You’ll be unable to sleep very much
  • You may be freezing all night long due to the ice packs wrapped around your face
  • You’ll feel extremely weak
  • You won’t be able to talk
  • You will drool constantly (but you’ll have the suction tube in the hospital to take care of that)
  • Lots of blood will be churning up inside your nose, mouth and throat
  • Your jaw will randomly spasm (and it will be painful)

Day 1

  • Swelling will begin

Day 3

  • Swelling will peak
  • Your bowels will start working again around this time

Day 5

  • Feeling will begin to return to parts of your face
  • Swelling will start to decrease

Day 7 (1 week)

  • You’ll be able to move your mouth a bit easier, so your talking will become more understandable
  • At your 1-week appointment, you’ll be able to brush your teeth, both inside and out (and it will feel amazing)

Day 10

  • Drooling won’t be as rampant any longer
  • You’ll regain slight control over your lips

Day 14 (2 weeks)

  • Most of the swelling will be gone
  • You’ll be able to start drinking from a cup (although it may be messy at first)
  • You can probably remove a few of the elastics clamping your teeth together, so talking will become infinitely more simple
  • Sleeping through the night should no longer be a problem

Day 15

  • Your elastics will start snapping daily, due to your rapid increase in speaking

Day 18

  • Your breath will become bearable again, due to the fact that you’ve been eating different foods and brushing more often

Day 21 (3 weeks)

  • Your energy will start to come back. Take advantage of it! Go for walks and take your bike out for a spin.

Day 22

  • You’ll be receiving substantial feeling back in your upper lip and cheeks. Your nose, lower lip and chin, however, will remain completely numb.

Day 28 (4 weeks)

  • Talking will hardly be an issue any longer. If you have a splint/bite plate in, you’ll sound ridiculous, but people will be able to understand you.
  • Your desire to be social and spend time with people will return in full force. Make sure you take advantage of it, and remember that your friends are not judging you.

Day 29

  • Feeling will begin to return to your lower lip and chin. That feeling will come in the form of pins and needles, but you’ll appreciate it regardless. If no feeling has returned to these parts yet, don’t worry. Surgeons say that it make take up to 90 days for feeling to begin coming back.

Day 31 (1 month)

  • If your elastics are off, you’ll be able to speak quite well by now
  • You won’t drool or spill any longer while eating

Day 32

  • You’ll have most of your normal energy back by now
  • You’ll begin to feel like you’re ready to take life on again. Be warned though: you’re not quite there yet. Give it another month before you go crazy.

Day 38

  • More patches of feeling will return to your chin and lower lip
  • You should no longer have to wear elastics during the day

Day 42 (6 weeks)

  • You should be able to drink through a straw quite easily by now

Day 45

  • Most of your stitches should have dissolved by now

Day 49 (7 weeks)

  • If you had a splint in, it should definitely be removed by now
  • Be prepared to readjust back into the world of orthodontics

Day 56 (8 weeks)

  • You should be able to eat with a small spoon or fork again
  • Licking your lips should be no problem at this point

Day 58

  • You’ll most likely be allowed to blow your nose again. Be gentle, though, because you don’t want to pop a blood vessel.

Day 70 (10 weeks)

  • If you haven’t been able to eat solid food yet, start now. Even if the task of eating involves mashing soft food up against the roof of your mouth, do it anyway. You’ll never gain your strength back on liquid alone.

Day 84 (12 weeks)

  • You should enjoy the freedom of eating just about anything you want by now
  • Consider practising whistling in order to break up the scar tissue that’s sure to be keeping your upper lip from enjoying its full range of motion

Day 90 (3 months)

  • Your three months have finally come to an end! Enjoy eating, breathing and smiling to their full effect.
  • Changes will be fairly slow from this point forward. The results you find yourself with at the 6-month mark will most likely be the results you’ll live with for the rest of your life.

853 Comments on “Recovery Timeline”

  1. sandy June 29, 2010 at 1:09 pm #

    I probably refer to this about once per week.

  2. Graham June 29, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

    I hope it’s proving to be somewhat accurate. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re recovering much more quickly than this timeline suggests–I was slow at it. =)

  3. sandy July 12, 2010 at 11:27 am #

    I’m actually recovering surprisingly fast. I keep saying I wish my face would catch up with the rest of me. I had upper and lower jaw, as well as genioplasty (chin). On my 12 day visit to my surgeon he said I could have the bands off during the day and start eating soft food like mashed potatoes and such. Whoo Hoo! I started eating split pea soup with bacon, carrots, and celery (just minced everything), and even ate egg salad by also mincing everything. At two weeks I was given the green light to eat soft pasta and so now I eat everything that I can gently chew. I even had a big mac last night!!! Yum!!! Anyway, I don’t know how you went so long on liquid. I would have been dead. I will make 6 weeks in two days and I’m so grateful for every day that brings me closer to recovery. Thanks for sharing your journey with the us. You’ve helped make this journey so much easier for me. It’s great to know you’re not alone.

  4. Graham July 12, 2010 at 11:39 am #

    Haha, trust me, it wasn’t easy! That’s great that you’re able to eat again.

    Just wait until the swelling is gone–it’s incredible!

  5. Krista July 13, 2010 at 12:15 am #

    Thanks for all the info. I had both upper and lower jaw surgery with genioplasty (chin)too. I am almost at week 3. I was not told anything about heat applied to my face and a few other tips shared here. It has been a huge ordeal for me getting to this point, (it is a story from hell), but the comments here have allowed me to relax a little more and not panic about the numbness from my eye sockets down to my chin. I absolutely cannot wait until that “freezing” is gone. People tell me I look ok, but I still feel like a freak to a slight degree not able to make the right facial movements/expressions.
    One question, my gums are really swollen. Is that normal? This is the first day that I was actually able to feel them and I peeled back my upper lip and see that they are very swollen and they are very sensitive and sore.

    Thanks everyone.

  6. Graham July 13, 2010 at 12:24 am #

    Hey Krista, congrats on making it to your third week.

    As far as your gums are concerned, it’s only a problem if they’re infected. You’re still seeing your surgeon on a weekly basis, right? They’ll be able to tell you if you actually have a problem or not. My gums were pretty numb for well over a month, and they definitely didn’t look pretty.

    Unless you’re having excruciating pain, I’d say you’re still doing alright.

    Better check with your surgeon at your next appointment though (if you can wait that long).

  7. adrianta July 14, 2010 at 1:12 am #

    Hello

    I am day 4 post op double jaw surgery.

    Just want to ask you if you had any gum numbness after the surgery and if you still do now that you are so much post op? The surgeon only told me that the permanent numbness risk is in lower lip and chin, which I think I can live with…. but the gums… that is another story and it is getting me really worried as without sensation in the gums it would be difficult to eat for the rest of my life.

    Regards,
    Adrian

  8. Graham July 14, 2010 at 8:21 am #

    Hi Adrian,

    My gums were numb at first as well due to the nerves they move around during the surgery. I didn’t get any feeling back for over a week, and I honestly wouldn’t start worrying about it until at least a month.

    On Day 4, you’ll still be very swollen, very numb, very immobile and everything will seem really bad. But I assure you it’s only temporary!

  9. adrianta July 14, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

    Wow, thanks for your reply Graham… that really gave me some courage back! And that is what I need right now

    Just another question… were you ever worried about the result? I did not look bad pre-op and was happy with how my face looked, but I desperately wanted to remove my underbite even if it was minimal. Now that I did the op, my underbite is obviously corrected but I look so funny and different… I almost look with an overjet problem. After all this inconvenience and money, I may have ruined my face after all. I know its too early too speak about the result but its getting me so stressed out so I appreciate if you could share with me how you felt

  10. Graham July 14, 2010 at 3:21 pm #

    Haha, I felt the same way, and still do to a certain degree. I feel like I have a minor overbite now, but I think it’s just because we’re not used to how our bite is supposed to look.

    Like you, I was also happy with how I looked before, but I wanted to be able to chew properly, so that’s the primary reason I chose to have the surgery performed.

    Now my face looks different, my nose is a bit crooked and I’m still trying to adjust to the changes.

    I was told not to worry about what I looked like for at least 6 months post op because your swelling is still dropping and your face is still shifting until that point.

  11. Krista July 25, 2010 at 8:43 am #

    Hi Graham.

    Thanks very much for your reply regarding my gums. I did speak with my surgeon and he said very quickly “don’t worry…any other questions”… yesh, they move so quickly from patient to patient…I feel so rushed every follow up appointment.

    One thing that has been really bothersome and I haven’t seen much written about it are nerve problems and pain. When my cheeks started to ünfreeze” I started to experience nerve spasms in my face that were like someone was plugging my fingers into an electrical outlet and it was causing my facial nerves to go bazerko!! Sometimes it would last a couple of seconds and other times it would last a couple of minutes. It was so awful that I sometimes could do nothing but scream or cry as it happened (I’m certain my face looked like I was having a seizure) and then I would be so exhausted afterwards that I’d have to lay down. Thank goodness this only went on for less than a week, but then it moved on to something more intense.

    From the moment I awoke after surgery, I had pain predominantly on my right side of my face and into my ear canal. I also never suffer from headaches, (or very rarely), but I had a week of hell with migraines that week. The pain in my ear canal was tolerable with the meds that were prescribed for anti-inflammatory and pain, but after those pills were done and the elastics replaced the wires… my ear and jawline on that side was the area that started to get progressively worse. I mentioned this to my surgeon at each visit as it concerned me that it was seemingly getting more painful each few days, but he kept assuring me it would pass. Well, long story short, I had to call his office last Thurs. and spoke with the nurse about the growing pain! She said that even though I had already taken 800 mg of ibuprofen, that I could take Tylenol 3’s, some of the codeine that had been prescribed and if that didn’t help, I could then take a demerol (not all at once, but within that afternoon/evening). I ended up taking all of those things, and then some. I felt like my ear canal was going to explode and that I would lose my hearing and trying to sleep that night was vertually impossible. The few hours I did sleep were interrupted by severe pain, that I would literally grab the liquid codene that I had and gulp sips hoping the pain would subside. At some point I did think, I might overdose here …
    I woke again at 4:30 am and was out of my mind with pain. My ear canal was throbbing and I couldn’t walk straight or think straight. I changed into clothes and called 911 begging for an ambulance to get me to take me to emerg.
    They did, and the dr. on staff said only morphene works for nerve pain, nothing else works. He didn’t seem phased at all by the amount of medication I’d taken over a 12 hour period, he gave me a shot of morphine, (which worked thank goodness) and discharged me with a prescription for morphine for a few days (this was Friday) enough to get me through the weekend until I could see my surgeon again.

    Sorry for the novel…I got carried away.
    Have you/had you or has anyone else corresponding here had any similar experience?

    I’ve since seen my surgeon again and he changed the elastics to lower pressure and put me back on a prescription of those anti-inflammatory pills and repeated the morphine prescription to take when the pain is excruciating again, (which thank goodness, I’ve only had to use a few here and there as I have heard morphine is very addictive and that is the last thing I need to deal with, so I am very conscientious when I take them).

    Any comments?

    Thank you.
    Krista

  12. Graham July 25, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    Krista, I had a lot of headaches, but no pain in my ears. That sounds like a brutal experience!

    9 times out of 10, you can assume the pain isn’t actually damaging you–it’s just really inconvenient and uncomfortable. The elastics gave me a lot of sleepless nights as well, but nothing compared to what you’re talking about.

    Morphine is definitely addictive. I was on it after a surgery I had on my broken foot years ago and I was craving it when my prescription was all done. So be careful!

    I haven’t heard of anyone with pain quite as bad as you, so hopefully the looser elastics help a lot. My only advice is to bear through it because once you’re healed, it will all seem like it flew by.

    I feel for ya!

  13. Krista July 26, 2010 at 1:19 am #

    Thanks Graham.

    I think I am more addicted to your blog and writing now, not the morphine ;o)
    Seriously, I have no idea what line of work you are looking to pursue or your current studies, I simply have to say you are a great writer and I thoroughly have enjoyed every update. Thanks for sharing your story and venture with “us” the readers. Your humour and wit have made it more bearable and sharing compassion with everyone has made such a difference.

    Krista

  14. Graham July 26, 2010 at 11:25 am #

    The funny thing is that I’ve never enjoyed writing all that much. But I do like sharing experiences, and since I can’t meet you all face-to-face, writing will have to do.

    Keep me posted as to your headaches. I’d like to know when they go away!

  15. James August 6, 2010 at 12:34 pm #

    It’s been 2 months since my upper and lower jaw surgery and my chin is still numb and my gums are still almost completely numb. There is still minor swelling. When will this go away?!

  16. Graham August 6, 2010 at 1:55 pm #

    Hi James,

    Swelling will be gone in the next month or so. You don’t have to worry about swelling because it will naturally dissipate eventually.

    Feeling, on the other hand, could take up to a year to come back. Parts of my lip and chin are still numb, and I’m almost 5 months down the road already.

    I’ve already learned to live with it though, and I’d do it all over again. I wouldn’t worry about feeling at all until the 6-month mark.

  17. Rebecca August 17, 2010 at 9:21 am #

    I’m at the 2 week mark… i have complete feeling in my upper lip and cheeks but my lower lip, chin and most of my nose are still numb… Now, I know that its going to take weeks and months to get some feeling back…. But when will it be back enough so i can talk normally or smile??

  18. Graham August 17, 2010 at 10:48 am #

    By about 2 months you’ll be talking and smiling no problem, so long as you have no splint in at that point.

    The actual feeling may take a while after that to come back though.

    Also, once you can smile, do it. A lot. All the time, in fact. Smiling is beautiful.

  19. Rebecca August 17, 2010 at 5:46 pm #

    two months!??! *gasp* i wish you had lied and told me only a week or two more. it would have been better for my morale. :-P

  20. Graham August 17, 2010 at 5:56 pm #

    It happens more quickly than you think. :-D

  21. Jon August 20, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    Hey Graham! Thanks again for the great read on your site. Myself, much like a lot of your readers had double jaw surgery with the additional chin job. I’m currently at Week 4 and 2 days. From your knowledge, when the splint is removed (for me it will be week 6) should you be able to eat anything that you wish?! Or will it be a slow transition to regular food once again?! I am dying to eat some solids!

    Thanks again and any insight would be greatly appreciated!
    -Jon

  22. Graham August 20, 2010 at 1:12 pm #

    Hey Jon,

    The transition from having your splint removed to being able to eat almost anything will be around 2-3 weeks.

    You’ll be amazed at how quickly the strength in your jaw returns when you start chewing again though!

  23. g0dch1ld October 12, 2010 at 10:07 pm #

    Graham,
    My daughter got the double jaw surgery 8 weeks ago. She can still open her mouth the width of her thumb knuckle. Did you have any problems with that? She is doing the exercises, but it seems she’s not making progress as far as range-of-motion is concerned.
    Any advice?
    Your article has been of GREAT help to us, by the way! Thanks for taking the time to post it!

  24. Graham October 12, 2010 at 11:28 pm #

    Hi Godchild,

    Mobility will come back quickly once she starts eating solid food again. The act of chewing builds the muscles back quite rapidly.

    Is she eating solids yet?

  25. jolynn4u October 13, 2010 at 12:26 pm #

    Hi Graham,

    I am replying back to Godchilds email this am. I am her daughter, Jolynn
    I am eating soft foods as of 2 weeks ago. I am now in pysical therapy to try and break up scar tissue to open my mouth
    did you have problems with opening up greater than a thumb nuckle width?
    I also have concerns on how I look now after. My Dr. moved my bottom jaw back more than he moved the top. He had to build up the top lip in order to prevent it from shrinking after its all said and done. ughh, I am not completely happy with my looks yet, It has been 2 months. Do you believe I still have some hope? LOL…I just still get very discouraged even though I am sooooo enjoying eating again! That part is heaven.

  26. jolynn4u October 13, 2010 at 12:32 pm #

    Graham,

    btw, during the past 2 months of my suffering, at the end of the day when I would almost be in tears and anxiety with questions of doubt in my head, I would always rely on Grahams encouragement and information to calm me! Thank you for that! You have to be the strongest person alive to have been able to post before, during and after this HUGE trial.
    jolynn

  27. Graham October 13, 2010 at 10:20 pm #

    Hey Jolynn,

    The only reason I was able to appear like I had it together was because I realized that the pain, discomfort and annoyance were all temporary and would be gone before the year was out. Just remember that in a few months, you’ll be back to normal and this will all seem like it flew by. Life is like that.

    I was a little concerned with my appearance at first as well, but you’ll get used to it. It’s just different. I thought I had buck teeth at first, but now I love my smile! (I’ll like it even more when my braces come off.)

    Also, as far as breaking up the scar tissue in your face, I practiced whistling quite often to break it up. Other than that, I just ate normally and let time take it’s course. There are still a few tight areas around my nose and lips, but I hardly notice them anymore.

    Keep on taking care of yourself!

  28. jolynn4u October 14, 2010 at 7:42 pm #

    Graham,

    Thank you for the reply. I just discovered today at my physical therapy session that the reason I can’t open my mouth beyond 16 is because of the muscle on the left side that was stretched during surgery and it needs to grow on its own to the new stretched position. (If that makes sense):)
    anyways, I need to be able to open at 40 is what the surgeon said. So, I am frustrated and just hope that my muscle will be able to stretch eventually so I can open bigger.

    I have a quick question: Did you notice changes on the face after 2 to 3 months? I hear that you do up to 6 months to a year. Did you ever feel that your lower jaw was moved back too far? I felt mine was at first but I think I may be starting to get used to the new position.

  29. Graham October 14, 2010 at 7:48 pm #

    I initially thought my lower jaw was moved back quite a long way as well, but over time I got used to it. I think we’re just so used to having underbites that a regular bite looks odd to us.

    Give it another month or two. While I’m not sure if your face shifts too much as time goes on, I think you’ll accept the way you look and grow to be proud of your new face.

  30. Jolynn4u October 16, 2010 at 10:09 pm #

    I think you are right on not being used to a normal bite.
    I think everyone has different issues regarding the healing process. I have the issue of not being able to open my mouth bigger than a thumb nuckle. And I have crowns on my front teeth( they were knocked out as a small child on bicycle accident) they now need to be replaced after braces off. They no longer fit my new bite. That may be one reason I feel they stick out too far. The surgeon put i’n bone grafts i’n upper gum during the jaw surgery which are trying to heal as well.
    My top lip is big… My surgeon told me a couple visits later after surgery that as he was sewing my top lip back up, he built it up with tissue so that when I continue to get smaller on the lip and face area, that the lip wouldn’t totally shrink too small. I guess maybe because I’m a thin person and you notice changes more easily on a smaller face. Who knows…..
    Anyways, my mom and I both think you look great after your surgery! I can’t wait until the day I feel the same of myself! :)

  31. SabrinaR December 5, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

    Hi,

    I just had double jaw surgery on Dec. 1st and I hate it. I can breathe, can’t sleep and of course can’t eat. How do one person go through so much pain?

    The hospital refused to keep me longer than 2 days as I should be feeling better. They also said I should drink lots of water and I ask myself how???? I choke when i try. How am I supposed to live?

  32. Graham December 5, 2010 at 2:20 pm #

    Sabrina, the first few weeks are definitely uncomfortable, but you’re still alive and doing well, even if it doesn’t feel like it. The only big issue would be if you got an infection, but that usually doesn’t happen.

    Don’t make any judgements until after at least 2 weeks have passed. The first two weeks are utter hell–it gets better after that. :-)

  33. Dingdong December 17, 2010 at 2:38 am #

    Sabrina, I was in the same situation as you are. Like Graham said the first week is like hell. I couldn’t sleep for 3days, everything I intake was thru a syringe. If your unable to sleep, you might want to let your surgeon know, he’ll probably prescribe some ambien. I had my surgery on Nov 1st, it felt like it’s been only 3 weeks. There’s still numbness/swelling on my cheeks, chin and lips, but it’s slowly going away. We’ll make it thru! GL!

  34. madame December 21, 2010 at 1:10 pm #

    Thank you, i was going to have the surgery in April, but changed to June but i think i’m going to see if April is still available as i read your time line and i read another person’s blog, my trip i have in july i should keep my April date, to enjoy. Thank you, your blgo has been very helpful

  35. Graham December 21, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

    No worries, madame! Good luck with the surgery.

  36. KellyinMO January 9, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

    Thanks for the inside information! I am having TMJ surgery and upper jaw surgery (LeFort II) on Jan 26th. I am very nervous, but relieved at the same time. Glad to know what to expect from someone who has gone through similar procedures. Makes me feel a little better.

  37. Graham January 9, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

    Ah, the joys of TMJ… I hope this operation fixes that all for you. Good luck on the 26th!

  38. Sabrina January 9, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

    Hey Graham,

    I was wondering when you were allowed to chew again ?

  39. Graham January 9, 2011 at 5:59 pm #

    I had my splint out after 7 weeks and I was able to chew again about a week after that.

    I think a general rule is that you should still eat soft foods for a week or two following the removal of your splint. After that, all is fair.

  40. stacylee January 11, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

    Graham,
    Did you have more swelling after your first post-op appointment? My surgeon changed out the bands and I attempted a short conversation and have been slightly more swollen since then. Thanks :)

  41. Graham January 11, 2011 at 9:50 pm #

    My swelling seemed to stay pretty constant for a solid months after surgery. I definitely remember my swelling getting worse when I tried to talk though.

    On days I hung out with people, my face would throb later on.

    Swelling isn’t bad for you though. It’s just your body’s natural reaction. Nothing to worry about.

  42. chrissy January 28, 2011 at 10:06 pm #

    Hi,
    I had lower surgery done a little less than 2 mos ago. I am not happy with the results. I had asymetry which is still there and before my surgery i had a long skinny face and now it looks wide because of the parts he cut on the each side of my jaw. My face looks big and my smile looks awkward. I dont know what to do. I dont know if i could go in for revisions.

  43. Graham January 28, 2011 at 10:22 pm #

    Hi Chrissy,

    First off, don’t make any judgements on your appearance until at least 3-4 months have passed. You won’t feel comfortable with your new face until the swelling is completely gone and you’re healthy and eating and enjoying life again.

    I was really uncomfortable with my face for quite a while post surgery, but I’m quite happy with my new smile now.

    The other thing you have to realize is that you need to get used to your new profile. You’re changing something that you see several times per day, so it’ll take a little while for your brain to realize that it’s still you and you’re still beautiful. :-)

  44. stacylee February 1, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    As I’m reading this I’m getting completely jealous. I’m 2 days shy of my 4 week mark, and I’m still almost all numb (from my left lower eyelid down my cheek, my upper left quad of my lip, the lower right quad of my lip and my chin). I can’t wait to feel again!

  45. Taylor March 4, 2011 at 9:33 am #

    I know this a bit behind the times, but Krista up at the top’s story slightly hits home with me. I had my reconstructive jaw surgery on Feb. 23rd and have been on a pretty speedy recovery (no pain, by day 6 could talk and open my mouth a bit and the swelling was down substantially). However, the past 3-4 days ago I have started getting sore in my right ear. Even pushing slightly on the bump going into the ear (called the Tragus apparently) was sore. Now in the past two days, to go along with even more soreness, a sharp pain has been occurring and it happens at various times or when I shift my jaw to the left (which I try not to do of course!). When I take my Tylenol 3 it does alleviate the pain a bit, but I want to know what’s causing it! And just my luck, my surgeon is out of town until Monday.

    I was just wondering if anyone else has had this since Krista’s comment? It doesn’t feel that serious (yet), but just have to see how it goes!

    I also really miss toast! :)

  46. Jenny March 4, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    I had a little bit of ear pain, nothing bad though, just a bit of an ache. I got my GP to have a look when I was getting my sick note from work, she said there was a little bit of wax but nothing serious.

  47. Graham March 4, 2011 at 7:55 pm #

    I recall having some seemingly random pain in my ears, cheeks and nose during the first few weeks of recovery, but my surgeon assured me it was just my face moving around. If it’s bothering you, just call your surgeon when he’s back in town and ask. You’re paying for support too!

  48. Kate March 14, 2011 at 7:11 pm #

    Just wanted to say thanks! Came across your blog yesterday — and it has definitely been very helpful! Months away from surgery, but want to be as ‘prepared’ as I can be – and your story, tips & tricks have been helpful. Hope you’re doing well.

  49. Graham March 15, 2011 at 12:07 am #

    Kate, I hope your surgery goes well! Let me know if you have any questions as your date approaches.

  50. Krissy April 10, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

    Hello,

    I am Day 6 into my recovery from double jaw surgery. I have extreme tingling in my nose. cheeks and upper lip. I find the tingling to be almost unbearable. Has anyone else experienced this? Is there anything I can do to make it go away or calm it down a little. The tingling is 24/7. I feel like I’m going to go crazy.

    Any suggestions?

    Krissy

  51. Graham April 10, 2011 at 7:56 pm #

    Krissy, I took Tylenol and kept constant heat on my face to deal with the discomfort caused by the tingling. It’s kind of just something you need to deal with. It will likely dissipate quite a bit in the next week or so when your nerves start to recover.

    Try using heat and medicine, though. That’s your best defense. :-)

  52. Kevin April 11, 2011 at 12:27 am #

    I’m now 16 days post op, I’m unable to bring my lips together comfortably and when I do, my upper lip dissapears completely, it’s like I have no upper lip at all.
    I’m also experiencing every so often short sharp pains in the upper tooth and sinus areas, is this normal??

    I’m terrified my jaw is going to relapse or something, also when i swallow my jaw shifts and I feel and hear sorta a crackling or popping in my ears is this normal also?

  53. Graham April 12, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

    Hey Kevin. The swollen lips and sharp pains are definitely normal. I experienced random spasms for about two and a half months post-op.

    The popping noises are fine as well. My jaw moved around and cracked a lot up until about 5 months following surgery. Your jaw will be alright as long as you don’t get hit with anything hard.

    Let your pain be your guide. If you’re still experiencing pain at 2 or 3 months, you might want to ask your surgeon, but up until then, an infection is really the only thing you need to worry about. Everything else is expected. :-)

  54. Kevin April 13, 2011 at 10:13 pm #

    Words can’t express how truly helpful it is having someone take the time like you have and create a blog that people can refer to, to put their mind at ease. Especially since you are well and truly recovered and still take the time to offer advice etc.
    Before I read your response I was worried about my swallowing causing issues with my jaw, as I was hearing clicking noises when swallowing and thought that I may be swallowing wrong or something, was also worried about the pressure i put on the inside of my mouth, but in the end I just worry too much, and I’m sure I’ll heal just fine.

    Thanks for your words of wisdom.

    Graham you are a champion Sir!!

  55. Maureen Christensen April 13, 2011 at 10:16 pm #

    Hey everyone. I’m just curious if this website is still being monitored? I would like to get in touch with krista who wrote a comment above about her ear and nerve issues. I have double jaw surgery and chin in Nov 2010 and developed trigeminal neuralgia. I had brain surgery to correct and still have major pain as a result of stretched nerve. I’m just wondering what her outcome was?

    Thanks, Maureen

  56. Maureen Christensen April 13, 2011 at 10:18 pm #

    Hey Grahm – i just noticed there are recent posts on here! yeah! I thought they were from 2010. Anyway can you share Krista’s return email address or ask her to email me – I’d really like to chat with her about her situation in hopes in can help me? Thanks again! Maureen

  57. Graham April 14, 2011 at 9:48 am #

    Maureen, while I cannot share Krista’s email address (everything here is kept private), I will certainly pass along your name and email to her so that she can contact you herself. :-)

    Hopefully you’ll hear from her soon!

  58. Krissy April 19, 2011 at 10:47 am #

    Hi Graham,

    Thanks for your response. I find the heat really helps the tingling. I’m wondering how many hours a day did you use your heat pack? I find I have heat on my face about 80% of the day to control the annoying tingling. Was this the same with you? Has anyone else experinced this much tingling?
    I really appreciate your advice!

  59. Graham April 19, 2011 at 10:55 am #

    For the first 2 weeks, I kept heat on my face for the majority of the day as well (and always at night while sleeping).

    For the month or so following those initial weeks, I used a heatpak whenever I slept.

    The tingling stuck around on my side for about 2 months. Once your nerves recover, that will fade away.

  60. Ian April 23, 2011 at 7:42 pm #

    HI Graham,

    I had double jaw surgery w/ genioplasty and actually had my splint removed at the 2 week mark and was told to start chewing soft foods at this point. Does my surgeon think I’m superman or do you think they are just being overly aggressive given I have healed quite quickly and want to get me on the road to recovery?

  61. Graham April 23, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

    I’d trust your surgeon’s word, Ian. I had a friend who had a similar surgery (though he only had his upper jaw operated on) and he was freed from the splint and allowed to starting eating at the two week mark as well.

    Every patient is different. Every surgeon is also different. As long as you follow your surgeon’s orders, you’ll be in good shape.

    P.S. I’m jealous of your rapid road to soft foods.

  62. Ian April 23, 2011 at 7:56 pm #

    Thanks for the quick response – that’s good advice. I think the surgeon also factors in how well the surgery itself went (precision of bone incisions, positions of jaws afterwards etc.) into how quickly the recovery should go.

    Great blog – take care.

  63. narda April 24, 2011 at 1:44 am #

    hi graham,

    your blog is very inspiring and helpful im planning to have this surgery this year i hope that the insurance will let me..

    god bless and thanks for helping others keep it up!!!

  64. Graham April 24, 2011 at 8:39 am #

    No worries, Narda! Good luck with your insurance–they sure can be a pain sometimes, can’t they?

  65. Joscelyne May 2, 2011 at 10:38 pm #

    Please tell me the exact amount of days of when they put lighter rubber bands in and when they took out your splint ? Please I am going crazy being rubbered band shut, its going on day 19. Thank you so much and i love your results you look fantastic ;)

  66. Graham May 3, 2011 at 6:13 am #

    Joscelyne,

    They loosened my bands after the first 2 weeks so that I could start drinking some thicker foods. I wore elastics as often as possible right up until my braces came off at 9 months post-op, but that’s only because I had an open bite. Most people graduate to only being required to wear bands at night after about 6 weeks.

    I had my splint taken out on Day 50 (you can read about that here), but I haven’t heard of anyone else being that late with it. Most people lose the splint about a month in.

    Have they given you any proposed dates for these events?

  67. Ray May 10, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    Hey – this is a great website and very helpful as I will be getting surgery on my upper jaw next year. I have an underbite as well. Just wondering from your experience – how long would you say is the appropriate amount of time to stay home from work? (taking into consideration swelling, pain, eating, ability to talk/function normally, etc.)

  68. Graham May 11, 2011 at 8:03 am #

    I took 2 weeks off of work, but that’s the absolute shortest leave you should consider. I’d recommend 3-4 weeks if you have to talk to people for your job.

    I’m a programmer, so I didn’t have to speak too much when I first returned to my job.

  69. Dustin May 18, 2011 at 8:25 am #

    Hey man im just wondering I had jaw surgery on may 10th and I still have a little leakage of blood come out of my nose every once and awhile..just wondering if this is normal? I really appreciate ur site..it helps so much.

  70. Graham May 18, 2011 at 9:23 am #

    Dustin, I believe this is normal, yes. Your nose won’t be all healed up for quite a few weeks yet.

    Make sure you don’t blow your nose or rub it. Try your best to just leave it alone for now (as frustrating as that may be).

  71. Sarah May 18, 2011 at 10:17 am #

    Hey Graham, loving reading through your blog its such a great help. A quick question though how long til after your braces did your surgery date come around? because I have had my top braces since last august and I just got my lower braces in february and Im getting so frustrated not knowing when my surgery is going to be :(

  72. Graham May 18, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

    Sarah, I had full braces on (both sets of teeth) for just over 2 years before I went in for surgery. They usually create gaps in them prior to the operation so they have room to cut up in between your teeth.

    I also wore braces for 9 months following surgery. It was a long haul!

  73. Krissy May 19, 2011 at 9:03 am #

    Hi Graham,

    I’m at 42 days today! I had my splint removed 2 days ago and am finding that my swelling has increased. Was this the case with you? I’m wondering how long it was until you were completely swelling free… I’m getting fusterated!
    Also, I can’t open my mouth very wide and my checks and face muscels are pretty sore. Was this the case with you? Any tips?
    I appreciate it!

  74. Graham May 19, 2011 at 9:18 am #

    Krissy, I think my swelling increased a little bit after having my splint removed because I started talking and eating a lot more.

    My swelling was mostly gone around the 2.5 month mark, but it wasn’t completely gone until 3-4 months post-op.

    As for lack of movement (or that “tight” feeling in your face), you just need to talk, sing, eat, move your face around and wait it out. You haven’t used several muscles in your face for quite some time, so it’ll take a few weeks or months for them to stretch out again.

    You’re almost there!

  75. Dustin May 20, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    My gums are irriated and my surgeon told me not to wear my elastics till I see him again..and the appoitment is till monday..just wondering if you went through a couple days without wearing ur elastics? im kinda paranoid not wearing them because I dont want anything bad to happen.

  76. Graham May 20, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    The point of the elastics are to hold your jaw in place in case it spasms. It’s kind of like comfort by boundaries.

    You’ll be perfectly fine without them. Just make sure you don’t jar your jaw at all until you meet with your surgeon again.

    A good rule of thumb is that your surgeon’s advice is always better than my advice. :-)

  77. Dong May 22, 2011 at 12:43 am #

    I’ve had double jaw surgery 6 months ago, half of my bottom lip and chin are still numb and tingly when I rub it =( I don’t think I’ll ever get my feelings back.

  78. Graham May 22, 2011 at 6:30 am #

    14 months later, a quarter of my bottom lip and chin are still numb as well. Surgeons usually warn you that there’s a chance you may not regain all of your feeling back.

    You’ll get used to it, though. My numbness doesn’t affect me at all anymore. In fact, the only time I even notice it is when someone asks about it.

  79. Lyn Merryfeather May 23, 2011 at 2:36 pm #

    Hi Graham and everyone:

    I am very happy I just found your blog. It would have helped to know about it earlier, but I do feel reassured by the conversations.

    I found the first 10 days the most challenging but after that it gets better daily. I was wired shut for 26 days.

    I had my surgery (top and bottom) April 14. I am still numb (at 5 1/2 weeks) in many places and my teeth don’t feel like my own so chewing is weird.

    My question is about numbness of the palate. I don’t see that anyone has mentioned that. How long does this last? It really affects my swallowing. I am still eating mushed up food.

  80. Dustin May 24, 2011 at 9:04 am #

    I have a quick question..when did you start practicing opening your mouth really wide? You know doing all that exercising techinques with your mouth? Because my surgeon said I can start practing opening my mouth wide as I can and holding it for about ten seconds and all that good stuff..just wondering when you started with these exercises?

  81. Lyn Merryfeather May 24, 2011 at 1:50 pm #

    No one told me about jaw exercises. I will start that right away. I met another post op today, same surgeon, and he told her to pry with tongue depressors. I am not into that! I will follow your suggestion. Thanks.

  82. Krissy May 24, 2011 at 2:36 pm #

    I’m at 7 weeks and haven’t been given any excercise either! I can’t even open my mouth wide enough to fit my thumb into it. What exercises are you guys doing? I’ve only been without a splint for a week. Can you open pretty wide yet?

  83. Graham May 25, 2011 at 8:29 pm #

    Lyn, numbness usually hangs around for anywhere up to 6 months, but you should have most of your feeling back by about the 3-month mark. It’s really nice when it returns!

  84. Graham May 25, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

    Dustin, I was a bad student. I didn’t really practice any jaw exercises. I just talked as much as I could when I was around people and that alone brought all of my movement back.

  85. Lyn Merryfeather May 26, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    Thanks Graham. Here’s a side benefit to the numbness. Usually I have freezing to clean my teeth due to sensitivity. It occurred to me that this would be the ideal time for that sans freezing and I was right. No feeling, no problem. And the only being able to open 20mm was not a problem either.
    I am, however, really looking forward to having feeling back. Half way there to the 3 month mark.

  86. Graham May 26, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

    The glass is half full, Lyn!

  87. Dustin May 29, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

    Did the roof of your mouth feel funny? It feels like I have food in the roof of my mouth. I been having that feeling for a couple days now and Im wondering if that is part of the process of healing and if you went through that as well?

  88. Lyn Merryfeather May 29, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

    That’s what I meant when I said my palate is numb. It feels like I have something caught at the back of my tongue. I am pretty sure I have all the feeling in my tongue, so it must be the roof of my mouth. I am assuming it is normal and will “thaw” eventually, but I have not heard anyone else talk about it so far. My lower teeth are waking up with what feels like toothache, but my top teeth are so numb they don’t feel like my own.

  89. Dustin May 29, 2011 at 8:12 pm #

    Yeah it just feels funny and its annoying me..feels like I have something stuck in my palate like its food and it feels weird when I touch it with my tongue..just wondering if anyone had it.

  90. Graham May 29, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

    I remember that feeling as well. It’s almost like a subtle swallowing reflex that never activates. You constantly want to scratch the food away when in reality, there’s none present.

    It will go away once feeling begins to return. Have you ever heard of “phantom limbs”? This is similar, but it’s “phantom food!”

  91. Krissy June 2, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

    Hi Graham,

    I’m 8 weeks post surgery now (whoo hoo). and am having a hard time opening my jaw. It is very stiff and I find it opens wider on one side. I also have some scar tissue in my cheeks that seems to be preventing me from opening it wider. Did you have any of these issue? Was there any exercises you did to get your jaw back to full opening? How long was it until you could open up normally?

  92. Graham June 2, 2011 at 12:27 pm #

    Howdy Krissy!

    I wasn’t able to open my mouth comfortably until the 3-month mark. Your scar tissue will hang around for a few months beyond that as well.

    I didn’t do any jaw exercises, but I was told whistling is a fantastic way to break up the scar tissue around your lips and cheeks. Your movement will return naturally just from talking and attempting to eat, though.

    You should have your full range of motion back by around the 4-5 month mark. 3 months just marks when the actual bone is completely healed.

    Stay happy, my friend!

  93. Dustin June 3, 2011 at 5:55 am #

    My surgeon told me to pratice opening ur mouth wide as you can and holding it wide for like 10 seconds because the scars in ur cheeks will heal up and you wont be able to open ur mouth really wide like you use too. He said doing those exercises prevents your jaw locking up and the scar compeletely healing to where you cant open your mouth really wide. Idk he told me that..every surgeon is different. I have an appointment this monday and he has another techinque for me that he wants me to do..

  94. Dustin June 3, 2011 at 5:57 am #

    But only do those exercises 3 to 4 times a day.. 10 reps for 10 seconds..if anyone wants to do that..and also massage your jaw area for a good bit afterwards..

  95. Nicola Rose June 5, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

    Hi
    I found your blog last week and commented how useful it was to me – thanks for your kind reply.

    I have a question for you, if you are able to answer. Did you have, or have you heard of anyone else with the following – I’m now on day 31 and am still REALLY suffering with ulcerated and raw lips – both inside and out. They burn all the time and nothing seems to help. I’m getting movement back but it hurts too much to practice!! Also, I have a really painful chest – I’m finding it hard to take a deep breath. My GP has given me a couple of courses of antibiotics but nothing is shifting it. I’m still getting lots of pain in my face, head, ears, mouth and neck – do you think that’s normal? Also, I’m still quite weak – am I just being a bit of a girl?!

    Sorry, just read that back and I’m moaning so much. I hasten to add I am SLOWLY recovering – but, as I mentioned, I was totally naive and thought I’d be ‘right as rain’ or ‘fit as a fiddle’ within a few weeks. How deluded was I!!

    I’d really appreciate a reply when you get a chance. Thank you.

  96. Nicola Rose June 5, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    Oh, I forgot to mention I’m an ‘older’ patient, being 43. Have you found that age affects recovery? (Not that I’m making excuses for myself.)

  97. Lyn Merryfeather June 5, 2011 at 3:04 pm #

    Hi Nicola:

    Sounds like a rough go for you!
    I did not have the sores inside my mouth but my surgeon suggested an oral antacid held in the mouth before swallowing if it happened, so it seems it may be common for some people.

    May I suggest that chest pain should not be expected for this kind of surgery and that you should pursue help for this. At the very least, a chest X-ray to rule out pneumonia or rib fractures. (I am a registered nurse.)

    I am a MUCH older patient (64) and I expected a slower recovery time but then discovered that younger people than me experienced similar things. Of course, we can’t expect to recover like a 20 yr. old, but I don’t think it makes as much difference as we might think.

  98. Nicola Rose June 5, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

    Thanks for your reply Lyn. It’s good to hear that a youngster like you had a similar recovery to those with less maturity! I had a chest x-ray a while ago but the pain is still there nearly 3 weeks on. The only thing I can think is that it’s a regular chest infection and my body is too weak to fight it – even with antibiotics. I have a sore throat too but have been told that’s due to ulcers all down my throat. I’ve been putting vaseline on my lips as well as Blistex and Sudocrem – nothing seems to work!!

  99. Graham June 5, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

    Hi Nicola,

    I haven’t the faintest clue why you’re experiencing chest pain. It could be a regular type of infection that your body is currently too weak to fight off (as you suggested), but it shouldn’t be related to jaw surgery in any way. If you start to really have trouble breathing (or the pain becomes a huge thorn in your side), I’d talk to your regular doctor and be forceful. Tell them it’s really affecting you and you need a real response from them.

    As for the ulcers, I never had them in my throat, but my lips and gums were cut up for a good couple of months. There’s not much you can do until your swelling dissipates. I’d use healthy amounts of vaseline on your lips, try your best not to smile too big (for fear of splitting your lips open), and drink lots of water to keep your throat nice and lubricated. If your throat is really cut up, there may be medication for that as well, but since I never experienced it, I haven’t the faintest clue what to pick up.

    My apologies for not having any definite solutions for you!

  100. Krissy June 5, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

    Hi Nicola,

    I’m sorry to hear about your rough recovery. I am 24 and experienced some chest and neck pain after my surgery. I felt like muscel soreness for the most part and hurt when I yawned or would breathe really deep. It went away by my 5th week. It wasn’t anything that seriously bothered me but I did notice it. As for the ulcers, when i was younger I had stomatitis in my mouth and throat (which is mini uslers in your cheecks, gums, tougne, and throat) it was incredibly painful and lasted for about a week. I ended up having to have my tonsils removed because of it and have never had another case since.
    If I was you, I would seek medical attention and ask for blood work to be done to rule out anything. I am 8 weeks post surgery and have went every three weeks for blood work, blood pressure checks, and just a general assesment by my GP. I did this because of the liquid diet and I was skinny to begin with. This might be a good idea for you just so that you have some comfort and that you can be monitored a little more regularly and by someone other then your surgeon. I wish you all the best and I hope its all up from here!

  101. Lindsey Summers June 14, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

    I read through this, and hopefully most of this depends on each person. I am exactly a week into recovery after my surgery and really I feel greatish. I am moving a lot more than I haave been the last few days. I don’t eat as much as I should, but I drink tons. Drooling is a annoyance now since I can’t really move my upper lip or control the swallowing. I have full feeling of my lower jaw (by the way I have both jaws moved and a genioplasty) and I can slide my teeth back forth and sideways. I get my mouth opened slightly this Thursday!! Most of my swelling is my upper lip and around the nose which is great progress I think. I can somewhat talk already. Mumbling is the most I can do, but hey better than silence. I drink some smoothies and I tried Ensure, but it builds chocolate where I can not reach so its hard to get out because I can’t swallow it.

    I am hoping to go to camp in 24 days. My doctors said I’ll be as good as new!

    Wish me luck! Thank you for your page!:)

  102. Graham June 14, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

    Hey Lindsey! I’m totally jealous of your recovery. You must be quite the machine!

    At the rate you’re running this race, you’ll be more than okay when camp starts.

    Keep smiling!

  103. Lindsey Summers June 16, 2011 at 10:17 am #

    Graham,

    I just now got my mouth opened so I can eat through a straw!! I can’t quite suck through a straw yet because of swelling. I had a question about my splint though. It’s really sharp in the back and it’s already irritating my gums in the back of my mouth. Any suggestions on how to make it less painful?

    Lindsey

  104. Graham June 16, 2011 at 10:25 am #

    Lindsey, the splint is quite possibly the worst dental product ever built. It certainly serves its purpose well, but it’s ridiculously annoying.

    There’s not a lot you can do if it’s irritating your gums. I think the only potential fix is to somehow wedge wax around the sharp edges, but that may be difficult with all of your swelling.

    I just dealt with my sore gums and always focused on the glorious day when the splint would finally be removed. If you want to try and action the problem, ask your orthodontist for some wax (if you don’t have some already).

    Enjoy your newfound movement!

  105. Lindsey Summers June 16, 2011 at 6:07 pm #

    Hey Graham,

    Sorry to keep bothering you but I was wondering, when did you start eating soft food? I’m hoping to start before camp (22days) eight the soft food. Do you think I’ll be able to?

    By the way thank you so much for all your advice!:)

    Lindsey

  106. Graham June 17, 2011 at 12:53 am #

    I wasn’t able to eat soft food until the 7-week mark, but it totally depends on when your splint comes out (if you have one). You’ll have to ask your surgeon.

  107. Dustin June 17, 2011 at 8:31 am #

    Im almost reaching the six week mark into my recovery and is it normal when you drink something and when the liquid touches ur teeth.. ur teeth hurt! I think its just the nerves coming back into my teeth but man its so annoying..just wondering if you had that sorta problem.

  108. Graham June 17, 2011 at 9:02 am #

    Dustin, my teeth were still quite sensitive at that point, so it’s totally normal. They’re regain their manliness in due time, but you can expect a fair bit of sensitivity when you’re eating or drinking hot and cold things for a few weeks.

  109. Lindsey June 19, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

    Hey Graham!

    This morning when I woke up, my talking was so clear that I sounded like my old self again. Then I noticed that my mouth was opened wider than usual (I could get all my fingers in my mouth which I couldn’t before).

    Now my mouth is back to its original width in opening and I talk still kind of nasally due to my lips still being swollen.

    I’m thinking the swelling went down drastically during the night and somehow it came back again.

    Did your swelling ever do that? Seems like mornings are the best times of my day haha.

  110. Lindsey June 19, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

    Oh by the way, this is my 12th day of recovery!!

  111. Graham June 20, 2011 at 9:35 am #

    Hi there Lindsey! That happened to me several times. You’ll wake up and feel fantastic, so you’ll spend a good portion of the day talking and moving your lips around and being all excited about life once again.

    However, all of that movement results in some major swelling because there is still a lot of scar tissue floating around, so the next day usually ends up being a day of recovery due to your verbal party from the previous day.

    It’s totally normal and you have nothing to worry about. Just remember that excessive talking is going to land you with a bit of swelling for another few weeks at least.

    Stay happy, my friend!

  112. libbie July 19, 2011 at 3:04 pm #

    hi… how long did you hav yur brace in4? before you had ur jaw surgury… i realii realii want to know plss get back.. xxx

  113. Graham July 20, 2011 at 9:12 am #

    Libbie, I had braces for 2.5 years before surgery, but most people only need them for approximately 1 year prior to the operation.

  114. libbie July 20, 2011 at 10:34 am #

    am having my lower jaw surgery soon, and am very scared, got my brace in yesterday and i feel awful… my teeth are not that bad, but i just want to know will life ever be the same after surgery??

  115. Graham July 20, 2011 at 11:00 am #

    Life will go right back to normal, yes. The only difference is that you’ll be able to chew, breathe and speak with less effort and you’ll grow to become more confident in your smile. :-)

  116. libbie July 22, 2011 at 3:16 pm #

    what am really stressing about is discolouration in the teeth. did yur teeth change colour??

  117. Graham July 23, 2011 at 7:51 am #

    Nope, your the color of your teeth will stay the same.

  118. Richard July 29, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    Hi Graham, I just want express my appreciation for your very informative blog. I referred to it in the days leading up to my surgery and every day since. I’m now 6 days post-op and I’ve found that my experience has been slightly different to you and your readers’ experiences. I thought I’d highlight a few of these differences in case a reader finds it useful:

    – No eating at all on day 0. The most I could manage was 3 glasses of water, which I ended up vomiting up 12 hours after surgery due to swallowing too much blood. Absolutely disgusting, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be ie no pain etc. the weird thing was I didn’t feel like I had actually swallowed much blood.
    – I vomited again twice on day 1 even though I had nothing to vomited (except stomach bile)
    – Didn’t have any issues with drooling (and still haven’t)
    – I was totally out of it on day 0 and slept most of the day quiet easily. Since the first day the pain killers have kept me pretty drowsy so I have had no problems sleeping at all
    – My nose did bleed a lot and since day 1 I’ve been unable to breathe through my nose
    – From day 0 I’ve noticed that my left cheek, the left side of my nose and the left side of my top lip aren’t numb.
    – I never felt the need to use the suction tube at all.
    – The nurses in ICU obviously didn’t like me very much because they only gave me 1 ice pack on day 0!
    – I spent a total of 4 days in hospital (including day 0)
    – I was eating yoghurt and soup with a spoon 2 days after surgery
    – was eating chicken broth with noodles and tiny chunks of chicken 4 days after surgery (no chewing just swallowing)
    – I’ve lost 10KG already :( But I don’t feel hungry
    – I’ve been brushing my teeth albeit not very well since day 1
    – Like you, the pain for me is definitely worse after the first few days when feeling starts to return. However it’s not that bad and mostly just uncomfortable/annoying

    Peace out mate :) thanks for the great work!

  119. Graham July 29, 2011 at 10:53 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Richard.

    It’s a shame you didn’t have nurses that mothered you. Nurses seem to be hit or miss. Some care for you like their own child. Others act like you’re blowing everything out of proportion.

    You’re losing weight like a mad man. Isn’t it crazy how quickly our weight drops when we stop eating?

    Stay positive, man!

  120. Jenny August 12, 2011 at 12:28 am #

    I’m ten days in on lower jaw surgery only, and getting my rubber bands remove tomorrow, what can I eat? I love fooooood, and I hate it that I cant eat what I want, I went from 95 lbs to 88. And when will they remove my splint? Thanks Graham!

  121. Graham August 12, 2011 at 6:25 am #

    Jenny, you’ll have to ask your surgeon when they’re going to remove your splint. Mine was taken out at 7 weeks, but most people are splint-free after about a month or so.

    As for what you can eat, you’re probably still going to restricted to things like smoothies and blended food while your splint is in. You’ll be eating normal food again soon, though! Give it a couple more weeks!

  122. Mel August 13, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

    Hi everyone. I am 9 days out of surgery. I had both upper and lower jaw and chin as well. I am doing A LOT better the last couple of days compared to the first 6 days!!! My only problems now are the constant tingling in my face that is more annoying than painful but the spasms that I am having are horrible and seem to peek at there worst at night when Im trying to sleep. I am dying to sleep one night straight thru. I am eating soft foods now like pasta and stuff but chopped up very small. Which I guess from reading everyone elses blogs isnt normal but my sergeon said it was ok. And what is this splint everyone is talking about….??? Just curious.

    Ok so heres my question…
    The back of my throat is really swollen… and at night i wake up coughing and feeling like I need to hawk up something (sorry I know its gross) and when i try to i just get mucus with blood in it. Is this happening or happened to anyone else????

  123. Graham August 13, 2011 at 6:41 pm #

    You don’t have a splint, Mel?! You’re so lucky! It’s a piece of hardware most of us had wired into the roof of our mouth to stabilize our top jaw. It fits in the same spot as a retainer would.

    As for your swollen throat, make sure you’re taking anti-inflammatory medicine. Also, ensure you aren’t eating anything that might scratch up your sensitive throat. I’m not exactly sure why it’s causing you to cough so much, but I think it’s something that will go away in the next few days. Another thing that may help is to make sure you’re drinking enough fluids. Passing water over the sensitive areas will help wash down whatever is causing you to cough.

    Best of luck and enjoy your splintless recovery!

  124. Rachel C August 27, 2011 at 5:52 pm #

    Hey Graham,
    I just wanted to tell you about my unique experience with the surgery!
    I read your blog way before my actual surgery date and it helped prepare me alot for the days to come… I know all cases are different but I believe my case was all the more unique?… First, I got the surgery in Korea, where there are an infinite amount of similar cases to mine, since it is more prominent in the region where the lower jaw sticks out more.. I got it at Seoul National University’s dental hospital which i feel was a good choice.. First difference to the surgery was that they had me stay about 6 days in the hospital, wherein they would change my bandages repeatedly and make sure I wouldn’t get an infection. I had frequent headaches and my face was abnormaly larger than other post op pics. My surgery took about 10 hours! I also go the infamous infection in my left jaw… my mom says it was my fault for not cleaning it well enough but o well… Getting the… i dont even know what you call it out of my jaw was extremely painful. seeing as how I had no pain whatsoever from teh surgery! Once the infection was out, I flew back to Virginia to start school with my swollen face. I liked to eat alot before my surgery and I believe my cravings is what pushed me to eat what I probably couldn’t.. I could eat and chew by about one and a half months after the surgery… too fast? but I have no feeling in my chin and bottom lip. As I started college, I foudn out that a hall mate had the same surgery but hers took 5 hours and her face looks considerably better than mine? anyways, that was my unique surgery experience! only bad thing is that my mom thinks I have another infection in my left jaw since the swellign is taking a while to go down… I have to fly back to korea for another post op meeting.. alot of people thought I had nose surgery also, since my nose got smaller after the surgery, but my face is still long! and my gums still show when I smile… more so than before… hopefully… all will go well with my othro appointments! thanks again for your detailed day to day posts!

  125. Rachel C August 27, 2011 at 5:55 pm #

    oh yeah, i fell in love with the suction tube .. no splint for me! but a retainer like looking thing that got lost of food stuck in it… no pain whatsoever from teh surgery except for the fact that I couldn’t breath well and headaches… and the post op infection thing..I am also gaining all my weight back… a little faster than I want it too.. but then again i’m eating like a pig now. good luck to everyone else!

  126. Gray August 28, 2011 at 8:35 am #

    I’m a little over 2 weeks out of surgery. How long was it for you before you could start eating soft foods? I have my rubber-bands off during the day and no splint!

  127. Richard August 28, 2011 at 6:42 pm #

    Hi Gray,

    You’re lucky! I’m 5 weeks post op and i still have my bands on. You should be able to start eating soft foods when you feel comfortable to do so. I started eating mince, pasta and rice after 2 weeks. However, it’s probably best to speak to your surgeon first :)

    Good luck!

  128. Graham September 1, 2011 at 12:13 pm #

    Rachel, you’re the first person I’ve met who had the surgery performed in Korea! And you’re lucky you didn’t have to endure the splint.

    I can’t believe the operation had you under for 10 hours. You much be some kind of bionic human being by now!

    Thanks for sharing your experience. Stay happy!

  129. Graham September 1, 2011 at 12:15 pm #

    Gray, you can start eating soft food as soon as you’re comfortable doing so, just like Richard said. Just make sure you don’t strain your jaw or teeth too much because you don’t want to end up setting yourself back.

    I wasn’t able to start eating soft food until 7-8 weeks post-op, but I haven’t heard of anyone else taking that long.

  130. SwellingCheeks September 13, 2011 at 10:03 pm #

    I’d like to point out something that I found conflicting with your timeline with mine.
    I had the exact same case as you. Double chin movement, upper jaw move forward, lower move inwards.
    *I never lost nerve in nose. Couldn’t feel lower lip for 2 weeks. Almost 3rd week now and i could almost feel in the small area under the lower lip.
    *After 2 weeks, the surgeon said the recovery is going smooth, so he took off the plastic splint and the wires that nailed me shut. I am allowed to open my mouth about one finger apart. I was immediately able to slip soup/soft veggies/anything through the 1 cm slit between my teeth.Talking became possible after a day of practice.
    *At 3 weeks, most swelling has gone down. Except for the spaces at the lower jaw bone, where the bone was broken. Swelling is noticeable, as many people asked me why did i get so fat in my face(even though i lost 10 lbs)

  131. Graham September 13, 2011 at 11:46 pm #

    Sounds like you’re tougher than I am! As I mentioned in other places on this blog, my recovery appears to be a bit slower when compared with the average patient.

    It’s good to hear that you’re more able than I was. Best of luck with the rest of your recovery. =)

  132. santy September 16, 2011 at 11:46 pm #

    Hi Graham
    I am heading for the 8th week and my face is still quite swollen especially chin and lip area. Even my orthodontist is like ????? about it, so im starting to be a bit concern. Also i use to have quite a skinny face, but 8weeks post op i have a really round face and im hoping that this is swelling and that my real result would look nothing like how i look now! Please tell me im right!!!!

  133. Graham September 17, 2011 at 10:27 am #

    Santy, your swelling will go down eventually. I’m not sure why it’s taking so long, but you can rest assured it will be gone soon.

    Perhaps your bone is just taking a little longer to fuse back together.

    I’ll send positive thoughts your way. =)

  134. Jane September 23, 2011 at 5:28 pm #

    Hi graham!
    I’m 5 days post-op and i’m having major swelling on my cheeks and lips.. Also, most of my face are numb.. I still can’t can’t sleep, breath.. It’s starting to really bug me.. They gave me painkillers and a nose nasal spray, it became a bit bearable.. But i do have have an appoinment soon and she said she’s gonna take out the wires and bands out..

  135. Graham September 23, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

    Nice to meet ya, Jane! You’re in the peak of the swelling right now. Over the course of the next week, swelling will become less bothersome, but you’re going to feel quite claustrophobic for a few more days.

    You’ll be able to breathe easy again very soon, and trust me, it will make you want to shout for joy (except don’t, because it’ll hurt). =)

  136. Lyn Merryfeather September 23, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

    I just had a very unsatisfactory appointment with my surgeon. I am over 5 months post op and still don’t have much feeling in my top teeth or palate. I asked if it would come back. His response was “well, you just get used to it and then it becomes like normal”. Can someone please tell me this isn’t so? I do have some feeling…more like discomfort…when I brush, and that wasn’t there before…

  137. Graham September 23, 2011 at 5:47 pm #

    Lyn, one of the risks of this operation is the loss of feeling in certain parts of your face. I, like you, will likely end up with permanent nerve damage, leaving parts of my chin and bottom lip with the permanent feeling of being frozen.

    There’s always a chance that the nerves will heal over time, but I can assure you that, as your surgeon mentioned, you do adjust to the loss of feeling quite quickly. The only times I’m reminded of my numbness is when somebody asks about it or I’m shaving.

    It’s a bothersome thought, but soon you won’t even notice it. The human body adjusts to loss of feeling in miraculous ways.

    Don’t write off all hope either. I knew a teacher in high school whose feeling returned over 2 years later (though I’m not counting on mine re-establishing itself).

  138. Jane September 23, 2011 at 6:25 pm #

    Thank you graham, for the feedback I’m going to try very hard not to complain so much and heal.. Is it normal for your face to tingle? It’s not hurting, just very bothersome..

  139. Graham September 24, 2011 at 1:27 am #

    That feeling of tingling is most definitely normal. It will likely stick around until the 3-month mark.

  140. Lyn Merryfeather September 24, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

    Hi Jane:
    I found the tingling quite unnerving and almost painful for the first 10 days, and then somehow it was more tolerable, until if faded away somewhere around the 3 month mark, as Graham says.

    Graham:
    Thanks for your reply about the numbness. I was prepared for the chin taking a long time to never to regain feeling, but no one told me about the teeth and palate. It is what it is now, but I was definitely not given adequate information with which to form a proper consent. Because of that, I am not sure I would do it again if I knew then what I now know. I am not giving up hope since it seems something slight changes almost every day, but I will be very disappointed if I don’t recover significantly more feeling in my teeth and palate than I have now. Thanks for the information about the teacher. Gives me something to hope for.

  141. Graham September 25, 2011 at 10:11 am #

    Lyn, I wish you all the best on the numbness front. It’s definitely frustrating at first, but I’m confident you’ll adapt to it and end up appreciating the surgery in the long run.

    Let me know if and when your feeling returns. It’d be cool to know of another person whose body said, “Get out of my way, statistics. I’m going to feel whether you like it or not!”

  142. Lyn Merryfeather September 25, 2011 at 10:45 am #

    Thanks Graham.

    I have decided I reject the permanent numbness thing and will be getting feeling back in my teeth and palate.

    I will, for sure, let you know when that happens.

    I meant to comment on your statement that you only really notice your chin and lips numbness when you shave. What about the most important thing you do with your lips…kissing? I miss the full effect though I am only slightly tingly in the left lower half of my lips and chin. I have full feeling in the rest. So, for that I am thankful.

  143. Graham September 25, 2011 at 6:45 pm #

    Surprisingly enough, I didn’t really notice it that much while kissing either. I was a bit afraid that might only be half as much fun with the numbness, but it turns out it’s not too bad!

    Perhaps our body refuses to sacrifice the feeling when kissing, so our brain fakes it or something. Maybe…

  144. Jane September 27, 2011 at 8:38 am #

    Dear Lyn:
    Thank you for the feedback… As graham says, everybody’s recovery will be different.. I honestly thought the tingly feeling qas because i might get feeling there soon.. Well, i guess it’s not.. But so far, i been drinking more and brushing, and i feel absolutely awesome… =))

  145. JD October 2, 2011 at 8:11 pm #

    Thanks for your insight this will be my 6th week after having the surgery in late august. My chin and lips are tingly and I am eating soft food but I am still have a lot of issues opening my mouth all the way. I am able to stick in a baby fork and spoon but nothing more. I have read a good portion of your web page and I this has given me a little hope. I guess I thought by week 6 all would be good but it seems that it is going to take a little longer.

    I cannot wait to actually be able to open my mouth to brush, floss and clean my teeth completely. I have actaully lost 28 lbs. and I have noticed I get full very quickly because of my weight loss.

  146. Graham October 2, 2011 at 8:21 pm #

    Howdy JD!

    I can’t believe you lost 28 lbs! That’s a serious amount of weight.

    Six weeks is the mere halfway point to your bone being completely healed, so you’ve still got a little ways to go. It sounds like you’re maintaing a clear head about it though, so you should have no trouble.

    Enjoy brushing and flossing again soon!

  147. JD October 2, 2011 at 8:37 pm #

    Thanks I am learning very fast that the recover can take up to a year from reading some peoples blogs. I have a question for you because next week I am supposed to head back to work this week but I am worried that not having full range of motion with my mouth it would cause issue. I work on a phone and am usually talking for 4-5 hours a day with my clients.

    I am happy to say that I just ate mashed potatoes and chewed with my tongue and the top of my mouth. Did you do any exercises in order to help with opening the mouth more? Well I dont wont to be that guy but again thanks for your blog it gave me some hope and realization that I have a little longer to go.

  148. Graham October 2, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    If you spend a considerable amount of time in conversation each day, you may find the muscles in your jaw becoming sore by the end of the day. I would give it a shot for a few days and see how you feel. You should be able to make it through the days, but it may be uncomfortable for another week or two.

    As for exercises, the only thing I really did was chew gum as often as possible. It keeps your jaw in constant motion and reminds you how to actually chew again.

    Best of luck at work this week!

  149. Jane October 3, 2011 at 9:41 am #

    Hi graham!
    Sorry if I’m bothering… But I went to my surgeon today and she told me I will be able to remove my elastics so I can eat soft foods and brush properly.. Also, she ask me to excersize my mouth.. Somehow, I find it hard to talk, let alone open my mouth to eat.. I was so messy, and it gets frustating… I tried drinking with a spoon, and it was alright.. Do you have the same problem Graham?

  150. Graham October 3, 2011 at 11:24 am #

    I experienced the exact same thing when I received the go-ahead to start eating soft foods again.

    I had to start by simply mashing overcooked vegetables between my tongue and the roof of my mouth. I wasn’t able to chew anything when I first had the splint out.

    It will probably take you about two weeks before you can actually chew enough to eat a meal again, but it will happen, I assure you!

  151. EmJ October 7, 2011 at 10:48 am #

    Hi All,

    I am now just over 2 weeks post double jaw surgery.
    Started to get feeling back in my top lip etc but not my bottom lip & i’m still drooling & can’t close my lips together

    Is this normal? The corner of my mouth feels really tight.

    Also ther is a chance I might have to go back for surgery to move my top jaw forward again.

  152. Graham October 7, 2011 at 11:32 am #

    Hi EmJ!

    It is very normal for you to still be drooling and lacking feeling at the 2-week mark. I had to wipe my mouth with a paper towel every time I took a drink at that point in time because I couldn’t actually tell if there was any liquid on my lips.

    Think long and hard about a second surgery. Another operation will be higher risk than the first. Recover from this one first and then weigh out the pros and cons of a second operation over the course of a few months.

    Hope your feeling returns soon!

  153. EmJ October 8, 2011 at 5:17 am #

    Thanks Graham,

    They said i might need the op because i cant close my lips fully yet and my bite is still not right. So wareing elastics at the moment. Will my lips eventually close, is it because everything is still feels tight?

    I’m really not keen on having another Op.

  154. Graham October 10, 2011 at 8:38 pm #

    Your lips will absolutely close again! The reason everything feels disjointed and out of place at the moment is solely due to swelling. Once that subsides, your face will return to its beautiful, proportional state. =)

  155. Sammy October 17, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    Hi All

    I’m having upper and lower jaw surgery tmw…arrgghhh, freaking out a little now. :s
    Weird, I’ve been so calm about it until now! Anyway wanted to say that I’ve found this site so helpful, and will be refering to it daily when I’m out of hospital! Thank you to everyone who has shared their experience, and no doubt you’ll be hearing mine very soon x

  156. Graham October 17, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

    Hi Sammy! Surgery tomorrow, eh? You must be nervous! (And I can assure you that’s a completely normal feeling.)

    Let us know how you’re doing as soon as you’re home from the hospital.

    Cheers!

  157. pete October 18, 2011 at 6:53 pm #

    Hey Graham,

    I’m 3 weeks post-op from double jaw surgery and just got rubber bands off. Is it normal for speaking to be kind of difficult at first? I feel like I’m trying to talk with retainers on. Also how long did it take you to rehabilitate your mouth to open wide? Thanks for the information, and your website is such a useful tool for prospective and current patients!

    -Pete

  158. Graham October 18, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

    Hi Pete!

    Speaking will absolutely be difficult at 3 weeks post-op. You’ll probably be able to speak clearly again at around the 6-week mark. Now that your rubber bands have been removed, your ability to talk properly will come back at a quicker rate than it has been, though.

    As for opening my mouth wide again, that all depends on how much you’re talking and what kind of food you’re eating. I wasn’t able to open my mouth wide until around 3 months post-op, but I also had my bands on for quite a bit longer than you. I’d estimate you’ll be able to open your mouth fairly wide within a month from now.

    Sounds like you’re recovering really quickly. Cheers!

  159. pete October 18, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

    Hey Graham,

    Thanks for the reply. I am recovering quickly (thankfully), I don’t know what I would have done if I was on a full liquid diet for 7 weeks like you were! Haha I barely managed to get through my 3 weeks.

    – Pete

  160. Sammy October 20, 2011 at 7:52 am #

    Well I made it to day 3! And I have to say…its been ok so far. Am home from hospital today. The nurses in the hospital were great, but its good to be home to recover. Slowly adjusting to life with food through a syringe!

  161. Diana October 20, 2011 at 8:08 am #

    Hi all!
    I’m almost 5 weeks post op and I’m feeling better and better! I do have a concern though, I still can’t open my mouth any bigger then a finger wide.. And I accidentally hit my chin with my phone just now and I’m worried I might cause my jaw to shift or something, but it does not hurt and I didn’t see any changes in my jaws.. Should I be worrying?

    Oh, and 1 more question, were any of you given any meds to help with the numbness?

  162. Graham October 20, 2011 at 9:16 am #

    Sammy, you’re home! My advice for you now is to go for walks, find a good TV show to watch and drink as much water through that wonderful syringe as you can. The first 2 weeks will be frustrating, but you’ll recover quickly!

  163. Graham October 20, 2011 at 9:20 am #

    Hi Diana,

    At 5 weeks, restricted movement in your jaw is still fairly normal. I wouldn’t worry about how wide you’re able to open your mouth until you’re back to eating regular foods again.

    I also wouldn’t be bothered by the fact that you hit your chin with your phone. Your jaw is stronger than you think–even in its recovery state–so you’d have to jar it incredibly hard to cause any damage. The basic rule of thumb is that if it doesn’t hurt, there’s likely nothing wrong.

    I didn’t receive any meds to help with numbness. You can’t medicate bruised nerves. They just need to heal on their own.

    Stay positive!

  164. Diana October 20, 2011 at 11:47 am #

    Thanks Graham!
    You’re right, I shouldn’t worry. It’s just my doctor kept on saying I should be able to open my mouth 3 fingers wide by now so I thought maybe I was just slow at recovering. Thank you for encouragement Graham..

  165. Lyn Merryfeather October 20, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

    Diana:

    Three fingers wide at 5 weeks!! I can only do that now at 6 months!

    We are all different and every recovery is unique. Whatever you are “supposed” to be able to do, according to your surgeon, needs to be taken with a hefty dose of salt. You can do what you can do and the rest will follow in its own time.

    And, as Graham says, there is no medication known that will deal with numbness. This is due to handling the nerve during surgery. It gradually improves as the nerve establishes its connections again. The left half of my chin is still a bit numb although I do have sensation in it.

    Sounds like you are doing great!

  166. Shauneen October 20, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

    Hey Graham ,

    Im due for double jaw surgery in just over 2 weeks time. I have an overbite though so my surgery will be slightly different.

    I just wanted to say thanks for posting all your updates, you look great now :D. Ive really been encouraged by everything i read on here as i prepare for my surgery and definately plan to refer back to it during recovery. To begin with i was scared I would hate the outcome ,i didnt want to change the shape of my face too much as i dont have a huge problem with how i look now lol. But now im actually excited to have it all done and over with so i can enjoy my new face haha. Im not really nervous but hoping i’ll have recovered enough to fully enjoy Christmas which will be roughly 6 weeks post surgery. How did u feel at this stage?

    You’ll also be encouraged to know that your blog is helping people all over the world as im writing all the way from Ireland haha!

  167. Graham October 20, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

    Hello to you from Canada, Shauneen!

    If you undergo the surgery in a couple weeks, you probably won’t be able to fully enjoy those delicious Christmas dinners you’re hinting at. You’ll be able to speak enough to have a good time with your family (and you may be able to eat quite a bit already), but you’ll likely have to accept a lighter meal this time around.

    It seems like there is no “safe” time to take on this operation. You’re always going to miss either Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas. Shucks, right?

  168. Shauneen October 20, 2011 at 2:06 pm #

    Haha yeah it does suck but i guess it will be worth it! Ahh, I guessed i would have to miss out on my christmas dinner, soo sad :( lol but i suppose i will appreciate it more than ever next year. I can live without the food so long as im able to enjoy the day with family :D

    My 20th birthday is just 3 days after surgery too so im hopeful i might be home from hospital even though ill not be up to much lol!

    Seems ive been given the worst possible time ever to have the surgery but the waiting list is huge, so im happy to have it sorted!

    I also just realised you’d replied after i added you on facebook haha im not stalking you i promise :L!

  169. Diana October 25, 2011 at 11:07 am #

    Hi Lyn,

    Thank you.. =) i just hate being scolded by her, so I’m doing every possible excercise she’s given me to try.. I’m coming back to work tomorrow, so i’m just hoping that customers will be able understand me..

  170. Sammy October 30, 2011 at 5:35 am #

    So day 12 for me…and I’m happy to say it been fairly uneventful…which is good!

    Saw my orthodontist ast week to have the band put on my back teeth but was unable to as i had so much swelling! Going back for that next week.

    A lot of the swelling has gone down now, but not enough for me to venture out without a scarf over my mouth, haha! Bottom lip and chin are still numb, but have started getting the pins and needles feeling you mention in your timeline. Its not a lot, but enough for me to feel it! To be honest, I can handle the numbness in my chin and bottom lip, i just hate the swelling!

    And Graham, u were right…the first 2 weeks were soooo frustrating, mainly because im so bored…and hungry. Im a huge food lover, so not being able to chew is killing me! Talking to friends on the phone and having visitors is great, but I miss socialising! Oh well, hopefully soon!

    Hope everyone else is getting on well xx

  171. EmJ October 30, 2011 at 7:25 am #

    Thought I’d write a quick up date. I am 6 weeks post op (On the 2nd Nov)

    I don’t need more surgary, that they were talking about wich is REALLY good news.

    My lips are now closing normally but still look a little bit lob sided. But that is slowly getting back to normal.
    My bottom lip and chin are still a bit numb but the feeling is slowly coming back, so hopefully it will continue.
    It is nice to feel I own my bottom lip again, if you get what I mean.

    I Have been able to drink out of a normal cup now for a week or so without dribbeling most of it down me. Hopefully when I go back to the hospital on Wed I will get the go ahead to start chewing and eating normally again. Looking forward to eating normal food again, but thinking it will be strange to chew etc after 6 weeks. Any Tips?

    I am also back at work but only on half days for a couple of weeks. I still have elastics on so talking is a bit difficult but people can understand me. Hopeing they will come off on Wed aswell or just ware them at night or somthing.

    Hope everyone else is Ok! xx

  172. Graham October 30, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

    Sammy, it’s great to hear that you’re staying on track with your recovery. Going out with a scarf over your mouth will hardly seem out of place now that the cold weather is arriving!

  173. Graham October 30, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

    EmJ, good to hear from you again! I’m glad you don’t require a second surgery. That is most definitely good news!

    My only tip for relearning how to chew is to take it slowly. If you’re in a rush, I can almost guarantee you’ll bite your tongue a few times, and that can be surprisingly painful.

    Slow and steady wins the race!

  174. Ben November 1, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

    Hey Graham!

    I’m post-op day 5 and a bit worried about the timeline you layed out. I’m a business owner and need to get back to managing my staff, talking on the phone, giving presentations, etc. I was told I only need to take 1 month off work…

    I was also told I would have liquids for as little as 1 week and maybe 2 weeks. The surgeon said I would switch to elastics at that point and that the splint would be out by week 4, so I could return to work.

    Based on the surgeon’s timeline for me pre-surgery, I should be chewing soft food in a couple days… but this doesn’t seem to jive at all with your experience. Bait and switch by the doc??

    Ben

  175. Graham November 1, 2011 at 11:05 pm #

    Hi Ben,

    Every surgeon prescribes different treatment options. If those are the dates and milestones your surgeon laid out for you, perhaps you’ll be in good shape within the month.

    I’ve met many people who were eating soft foods by week 2, so it’s definitely possible. My recovery is the slowest I’ve encountered thus far.

    After a month’s time, you’ll likely still find work and giving presentations fairly exhausting, but your energy will return quite quickly once you start eating again.

    Best of luck, my friend!

  176. David H. November 2, 2011 at 8:51 am #

    7 Days Post on upper only, and had my first night of nothing but dreams about solid food. I would pay a small fortune to eat a hotdog right now…

  177. Graham November 2, 2011 at 9:19 am #

    Hehe, they are good dreams though, aren’t they?! You’ll be eating again soon, my friend!

  178. Lyn Merryfeather November 2, 2011 at 9:25 am #

    I remember I dreamed about juicy chicken, mashed potatoes and soft-cooked carrots. The thing is, the recovery is so gradual, or it was for me, that by the time I could eat that stuff it was sort of anticlimactic. I don’t, however, ever take eating for granted after this. It is, truly, one of the most pleasant experiences. Happy dreams, and bon appetit…very soon.

  179. stephanie November 4, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

    hey, today marks day 64! how time flies when your having fun!! i have been on a normal solid diet for 5 weeks now but still takes alot of effort to eat, i also find i dont produce as much saliva as i did previous so makes food harder to swallow. i have seen my orthodontist this week and following my double jaw surgery and septoplasty i am due to get my braces off on 25th jan 2012 :D I cant wait!!! x

  180. Graham November 4, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

    Stephanie, that’s less than 3 months from now! You’ll be smiling brighter than ever before!

    I know what you mean when you say it still takes effort to eat. It makes you appreciate each meal, though. :-)

  181. EmJ November 5, 2011 at 3:01 am #

    I know what uou mean about eating. Been able to eat normaly since Wednesday.
    It dosn’t hurt to chew just feels really strange after 7 weeks of not chewing. You don’t realise how much you take chewing for granted.

    Got an appointment in about 3 weeks with my orthodontist. He came to see me on wed at my appoinment with the surgons and he said it shouldn’t take to long to finish everything off. He didn’t give a time as he wasn’t really ment to see me, but hopefully when i do see him, i will get more of an idea of how long my braces will be on.

    It feels good now the end is almost in sight after a long nearly 3 year journey.

  182. Graham November 6, 2011 at 1:01 am #

    You can expect to have your braces on for another 6-12 months, but rest assured, you are in your final year now!

    And trust me: all that orthodontic warfare will be totally worthwhile. :-)

  183. Diana November 22, 2011 at 9:35 am #

    Hi graham.. I just have one last question..
    I’m already 2 mths since the op..
    My swelling went down alot, looking almost normal. But I still have difficulty closing my lips comfortably.. It’s like, I have to force it to close and I feel a slight pain on my jaw.. Is that TMJ? I have absolutely no idea if my lips will ever close without me trying to and I have never had this before..

  184. Graham November 22, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    I wouldn’t worry about anything for another month, Diana. I still had quite a few issues at the 2-month mark, but they all went away by the time I hit 3 months. Your bone is still healing, so pain is certainly possible.

    If this is still happening in another month, I would definitely talk to your surgeon about it. In fact, for your own peace of mind right now, perhaps you should call your surgeon just to hear what they have to say. After all, that’s part of what you paid them for.

    Good luck, and heal well!

  185. billie November 23, 2011 at 3:44 pm #

    Hey

    Thanks for your website. really calm my nerves. I have an appointment for double jaw surgery on 22nd Feb. I have a work trip on 28th March, do you think I would recover in time for the work trip?

  186. Graham November 23, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

    Hi Billie,

    You should be alright to travel at the 5-week mark, but I wouldn’t plan on giving any presentations or anything like that.

  187. nicole lively November 24, 2011 at 9:54 pm #

    i hope this is unacurate …. i got my surgery a week & a half ago & im actually pretty good, back to school & work in a week or so .

  188. Graham November 24, 2011 at 10:06 pm #

    Nicole, the recovery is different for every single person. If you’re able to return to school within a couple weeks of surgery, you may simply be a superhero!

  189. EmJ January 3, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    Hi All!

    Hope you all had a great Christmas & New year!!

    Well nearly 3 months post OP and things are going well. Chewing has become normal agian, still a bit of numbness in my bottom lip but this going slowly. Would say about 60-70% normal now.

    Was at the Orthodontist today and I got a date for my braces to come off!! 17the Jan. Can’t wait now but in a strange way wil be strange with out them after 3 years.

  190. Aldo January 3, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

    This is the greatest reference for me right now. Thank you so much!!

  191. Graham January 3, 2012 at 11:42 pm #

    EmJ, good to hear from you again! Getting your braces off is pretty much the best thing that can happen to a person (in my humble opinion at least).

    I’m excited for you! =)

  192. Graham January 3, 2012 at 11:43 pm #

    Aldo, I’m glad this site is useful for ya!

  193. Jacky January 15, 2012 at 2:07 am #

    Hey Graham! I posted a few weeks ago about my painful muscle spasms, and you were right! They were gone after a week!! I still have my mouth wired shut, hopefully for only two more weeks. Do you have any recipes that are amazing in a liquid diet? All I’ve had is ensure, tomato soup, broccoli and cheese soup, milk tea, and broth. And on the first week when you got your mouth unwired, was it painfully difficult trying to chew normal food? Can you chew nuts now I remember you saying you still had to work on that before.

  194. Graham January 16, 2012 at 2:01 am #

    I told you they’d go away! I’m glad you’re living a bit more comfortably now!

    I don’t have any exciting recipes to share because I lived off of Ensure and blended Chunky soup. One thing you might want to try is barbecuing a hamburger with barbecue sauce and blending it up with some milk. It could be tastier than you think!

  195. Christine January 17, 2012 at 8:05 am #

    Hi There

    I had double jaw surgery 2 ago but I’m still looking a bit puffy around the cheeks and finding that when I smile, it doesn’t look natural. Kinda look like an angry dog! The upper lip area still feels stiff and I find that my lips are drier than before. Not sure whether not enough blood supply going to the lips as they get dry and white. On the positive side, I dont have any numbness on the chin, lips or cheeks however the palate and gums/teeth area still feel strange – numb but not numb, really hard to explain.

    So just want to ask if anyone out there who had this surgery are having these kinda effects even after such a long time and what they have done about it. I’ve browsed the net to see if what I’m going through was common but I find that majority have healed faster than me – swelling down within weeks (amazing!).

    I didn’t have problems closing my mouth or my lips touching each other previously.

  196. Graham January 17, 2012 at 11:42 am #

    Hi Christine,

    You have a little typo in your message, so I’m not sure if you had the surgery 2 months ago or 2 years ago.

    If it was only 2 months ago, you’re still in good shape. You’ll be swollen for at least another month and your face will be shifting around for another month or two as well.

    If you’re finding your lips to be dry, make sure you’re drinking enough water. I recommend a minimum of 2L per day. If you do that and apply lip balm, your lips should be soaking up moisture in no time at all.

    Give yourself another couple of months before evaluating your appearance and swelling. It may make a world of difference.

  197. Richard January 17, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

    Christine,

    My surgery was around 5 months ago now and my cheeks are still puffy. When I smile it’s really obvious. My surgeon says that it could be due to the plates and the “step” created in the bone after moving my top jaw forward. I might be having another surgery in February to remove the plates and perhaps wear down the bone so there isn’t such a prominent “step”. However, the chances are that it’s still fluid that my body needs to drain. My surgeon told me that some swelling can last up to a year, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

    -Richard

  198. Christine January 18, 2012 at 6:35 am #

    Thanks Graham and Richard for your feedback. Oops, my surgery was 2 years ago – quite a long time!

    I did lots of drinking after the surgery and 2 years on, I find my lips are dry and have that white appearance that I mentioned before which I have to cover up with lipstick and that is annoying. Anyway, I will take your advice and drink lots more water and use vaseline.

    I haven’t heard about a surgery that can wear down the bone, that’s something definately for me to ask my maxillo-facial surgeon or orthodontist. Richard, my hats off to you if you’re having the next surgery to take out the plates and screws. My surgery, although it was 2 years ago, has scared me off from any type of surgery! However, I would love to hear how you went after your upcoming surgery in February because not only on the appearance side but when I touch my cheeks (beside the nose area), I can feel that it’s hard probably because that’s where the screws/plates are. Do you feel the same? I’m not sure if having them removed will make the cheek area feel softer. I would like to hear from anyone who has had their screws, plates removed to comments on the their experiences – before and after removal of screws/plates ie feel and appearance.

    I’m surprised that my body is still retaining fluid after 2 years? I guess I am slow recoverer!

    Thanks again.

  199. Richard January 18, 2012 at 8:02 am #

    Hi Christine,

    I really think you should talk to your surgeon about your concerns (if anything, just for piece of mind). I never had any problems with dry lips. My upper lip does feel slightly stiffer, but I think that’s because I still have slight numbness around that area. Does your upper lip feel colder in comparison to your lower lip?

    I only know about this procedure because I told my surgeon that I was concerned about my puffy cheeks. I got a 3D scan of my head done, but it looks like where the plates and “step” is, isn’t where the swelling is. I’m seeing her again next week so I’ll find out then what’s going to happen. This procedure and taking out the plates and screws is very minor in comparison to what you’ve already had done! I’m not too worried about it :) I’ll let you know how it goes.

    Yes I feel the same, right beside my nostrils on either side is very hard. I think that’s where the plates are. I’m not sure if getting them removed will make my cheeks less puffy either, but I’ll have more of an idea when I see her next week.

    If the puffiness in my cheeks is fluid (which I think it is) I don’t think it will be going away any time soon. I don’t believe it’s gone down at all in the past 2 months – my surgeon thinks otherwise though *shrugs*

    Go have a chat with your surgeon :) Good luck!

  200. Christine January 19, 2012 at 7:49 am #

    Thanks Richard.

    My lips don’t feel cold or numb, they are just dry but I drank lots of water today and find that it’s a bit better. So Graham was right and I will stick with drinking lots of water and applying lip balm.

    Will you be going under general anaesthesia with the next surgery?

    Let me know how your cheeks feel after you’ve had the plates and screws removed.

    BTW, what was your reason to go through this next surgery other than to shave down the bone?

  201. Richard January 19, 2012 at 8:43 am #

    Christine,

    Ok, well it doesn’t sound like a lack of blood supply, as you thought before. If what Graham suggested is helping, then keep it up :)

    The next surgery is mainly for a genioplasty. I didn’t get my chin done during my initial surgery because she thought that it may not be nessessary. But now 5 months post-op I’m lacking in the chin department so I’m getting it done.

    Also, she won’t be taking out any plates or wearing down the bone if it’s not causing my puffy cheeks. I’ll be seeing her on Tuesday, so I’ll have an idea then whether we will be going ahead with that or not.

    The surgery will be under a general, but apparently I’ll be in and out in under an hour.

  202. Christine January 20, 2012 at 7:54 am #

    Hi Richard

    Best of luck with your genioplasty. Look forward to hearing how you went.

    Any opinions out there re whether to leave or takeout the titanium screws and plates?

  203. Graham January 20, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    Christine, I’d go with your surgeon’s advice on this one. Call them and see what they say. Despite being 2 years later, it’s still their duty to see the surgery through to its end result, and that result should be comfortable for you.

    I’ve heard of others who had their plates and screws removed due to allergic reactions or the fact that they shifted and made life uncomfortable, so it’s not an unheard of activity.

    Good luck with your decision. And remember, even if you end up going in for another surgery to have them removed, you’ll still heal and be in tip-top shape just a few months later. =)

  204. Christine January 22, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

    Thanks Graham

  205. Jordan January 25, 2012 at 2:55 am #

    Hello everyone,

    I had double jaw surgery and bone graph (on my top jaw) almost 7 weeks ago

    I have no numbness whatsoever any more, had no numbness in my lower jaw at all from 1 day after surgery.

    I’ve been healing fine and can eat all solids without issue and can chew etc no other pain

    today i jumped in a pool which was pretty stupid but at the time it completely slipped my mind

    I got hit in the lower jaw a bit roughly and now my jaw makes a tiny pop on the right side when i try to stretch it as much as i can, is this a TMJ issue?

    I hope i haven’t ruined the surgery or affected it’s outcome or the healing progress

    any information on this would be appreciated

  206. Graham January 25, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    Hi Jordan,

    It sounds like you were healing up pretty impressively up until today.

    I’m not sure if your jaw popping is a problem or not. At 7 weeks, the bone has still not completely filled in, so your jaw may move around.

    You should give your surgeon a call and ask them. Their advice will serve you best in this situation.

    Don’t fret, though. It’s likely not a problem. =)

  207. Jordan January 25, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

    alright, thanks graham i’ll post up here after i talk to my surgeon for anyone else that has the problem in future

  208. Sammy January 31, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    Hi all

    Am 3 months post surgery and was recovering well until last week. One of the metal plates in my jaw has become exposed :( Saw my surgeon today, he said the plate needs to be removed so that the area doesnt become infected and cause further complications. Has anyone else had this problem?

  209. Aly March 9, 2012 at 8:58 am #

    Hi Graham,

    I just had upper surgery this past Wednesday (March 7th) and so far everything is going pretty well. The only thing that I am worried about it that my jaw joints occasionally will crack or click. Did you experience this? Or have you heard anyone else having this problem?

  210. Graham March 10, 2012 at 5:39 am #

    Hi Sammy,

    I apologize for taking so long to respond. I clearly missed your message!

    I’ve met a few other people who had their plates removed a few months after the surgery. It’s a rare occurrence, but it’s not unheard of.

    Did you end up having the plate taken out?

  211. Graham March 10, 2012 at 5:41 am #

    Hi Aly,

    It is completely normal for your jaw to click for the first few months of recovery. It will take at least three months for your bone to fuse back together, so you may experience clicking up to that point.

    I hope you’re doing well. Good luck with the first few weeks!

  212. Vince March 24, 2012 at 3:30 pm #

    What a wonderful blog. You are a very very good writer. Nice combination of humour and writing seriously.
    I will get a double jaw surgery next year for my open bite. Next week I get my braces.

    But I really want to ask you something. It’s now (almost) exact 2 year ago you had your surgery. Are you fully recovered right now? I mean you don’t have any numbness in lips or skin etcetera. And did you fully adjusted to the jaws? Does it feel like it’s all natural?

    (I apologize myself for my really bad english. I’m Dutch haha.)

  213. Graham March 24, 2012 at 10:49 pm #

    Hi Vince!

    I have indeed completely recovered from the surgery, yes. All of my movement has returned and everything feels completely natural.

    I have a numb patch on my bottom lip but it doesn’t affect my day-to-day life in any regard.

    Let me know when your surgery approaches. =)

  214. Sammy March 26, 2012 at 12:41 pm #

    Hi Graham

    Yes I ended up having the plates removed and feel so much better for it! My swelling has reduced rapidly, and my braces will be off in 2 months…! :-)

    Im 5 months post op now, and have pretty much returned to normal apart from some numbness in my bottom lip.

    I’m so happy I had this surgery done…I would do it all over again if I had to,and would recommend it to anyone considering it. It’s truly changed my life.

    Your blog Graham has been phenominal to read, and has helped so many of us through this procedure. Thanks for still keeping up to date with it even 2 years post surgery! :-)

  215. Graham March 26, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

    Thanks for the kind words, Sammy. I’m already excited for the sheer amount of smiling you’ll be doing in 2 months!

  216. Tori April 5, 2012 at 11:59 am #

    Hi Graham!
    I am on my 4th day after surgery and am enjoying your blog. Unfortunately my nose will not stop leaking blood so I am forced to type with one hand. Your blog always makes me want to smile, but as you know, it is painful, especially in my left nostril for some reason. Thank you for creating this!

  217. CyrusM April 8, 2012 at 9:26 pm #

    Hi Graham,

    I also wanted to thank you for such an informative blog. It is very comforting for those undergoing this surgery to understand they are not alone in their struggle. I have a interesting perspective on this surgery, as I will be graduating dental school in the next two months and had this surgery done a month ago. Furthermore I will be training in oral & maxillofacial surgery for the next six years here in the U.S. I also had a 3-piece LeFort osteotomy, BSSO, and genioplasty. My experience has been quite different from yours, yet surprisingly similar at the same time. Can’t wait for this splint to come out yet I have another 4 weeks! It is important for everyone to remember (as you always point out Graham), that everyone is different and every surgery is different. Do not expect to have the same results as anyone else, and by all means go by what your surgeon says. These surgeries are not “cookie cutter” and there are several ways to make almost every move. Most importantly, remember, time heals all wounds!

  218. Graham April 8, 2012 at 11:49 pm #

    Hi Tori,

    Your comment made me smile (unfortunately at your own expense).

    Here’s to hoping your incisions heal up quickly so you can laugh to your heart’s content again! =)

  219. Graham April 8, 2012 at 11:53 pm #

    Cyrus, that’s really interesting that you’re training to perform surgeries very similar to the one you just had. I bet you understand the operation on a level most of us can’t quite attain.

    I’m confident you’ll be one of the finest oral surgeons out there considering you’ll be able to put yourself in the patients’ shoes with no trouble. Your future clientele is lucky!

  220. nick April 10, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

    hi there
    im at 24 hours after surgery
    i have full feeling of my top lip but the perkisets i got make me dizzy after i come down from them
    im a smoker as well and im KIIIIIIILLLLLLLLLLIIIIING for a smoke
    when can i have one cause i would absolutly die for one right now

  221. Sara May 7, 2012 at 2:46 am #

    Went to the surgeon I’m going to use? Terrified. how long does he surgery last ? For a double top and bottom jaw? And no one has ever not woken up .. Right? I hate hospitals!!

  222. Graham May 7, 2012 at 3:52 am #

    Hi Nick,

    I apologize for not getting back to your sooner. I totally missed your question!

    I’m not too sure when it’s safe to smoke again. You certainly want to avoid infectious substances at all costs, so I’d hold off for at least 5 – 6 weeks before having a cigarette.

    I’d play it safe and give your surgeon a call. Since I’m not a smoker myself, I can provide too much useful information in that regard.

  223. Graham May 7, 2012 at 3:57 am #

    Hi Sara,

    It will take approximately three months for your bone to heal and another few months for your jaw movement to return to normal.

    I’ve never heard of anyone not waking up from this surgery, so you should be good to go!

  224. Crystal May 20, 2012 at 9:52 pm #

    Hello everyone, I have read quite a bit of the blog. I have had upper and lower jaw done as well as chin. I am about 8 weeks into my recovery and I have not had one day that has been pain free. I don’t seem to be responding to any pain meds. I have all feeling back…or at least pins and needles, but I have a constant burning pain in my face. Can anyone else relate to this? I am losing hope here and getting very frustrated, besides exhausted.

  225. Joe May 21, 2012 at 1:50 am #

    Hi Graham,

    Do you think it would be okay to get on a plane after the 4th day? I’m in a weird situation where I have to fly out to Vancouver to get my surgery since I live up north where there aren’t any oral surgeons. I can’t spend too much time down in Vancouver, though, so I have to fly back up as soon as possible. My doctor said I should be okay since the flight is only about an hour long, but I guess I’m still a little wary.

    Also, since I live quite far from where my doctor is located, I won’t be able to get post-op follow ups as frequently as I’d like to. I have one scheduled 2 days after the surgery and then he intends to have me see my orthodontist for the next month until he comes up to where I live to do a follow up (but this will be about a month and half later). How often were your follow ups?

    Thanks!

  226. Graham May 21, 2012 at 10:16 am #

    Hi Crystal,

    That’s somewhat bizarre that you’re experiencing pain a full 8 weeks post-op. My only guess is that you’re reacting adversely to the titanium they used to bolt your bone back together.

    I would call your surgeon and be adamant that your pain is uncomfortable and ask to have an x-ray performed to ensure that your screws and plates are all where they should be.

    Good luck and I hope you get this taken care of as soon as you can so you can relax once again.

  227. Graham May 21, 2012 at 10:32 am #

    Hi Joe,

    I personally wouldn’t want to fly on the fourth day due to intense pressure in your face and a severe lack of energy, but if your surgeon said it’d be okay, than perhaps it will be. Make sure you’re prepared for some uncomfortable pressure during your flight, though. It won’t bring you to your knees or anything, but you’ll probably be a little frustrated during the flight.

    As for follow-up appointments, I only found the first two of them useful. During the first checkup at one week, my bands were removed for a few minutes so I could brush and floss. At the two-week checkup, I was given the go-ahead to start living life again using pain as my guide.

    I’d say you’re okay on both accounts, my friend. Let me know how the flight goes. I’m interested to see if my thoughts are at all accurate. =)

  228. Debbie May 28, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

    Hi Graham,

    Firstly I’d just like to say thank you for all the time and effort you have put in to keep the likes of myself informed on the trials and tribulations of double jaw surgery. I’ve found your updates very informative and really helpful. I’m day 19 post surgery and gradually feeling better. The worst things for me are the elastics and the numbness. I noticed some sensation returning to my cheeks after about 10 days but only a little and since then it doesn’t feel like it’s improving at all.

    When I met the surgeon one week post op, I was told I’d be on liquids only for at least another 6 to 8 weeks, not sure why some of us are liquid only for so long when others are eating soft food within a few weeks.

    Question – How often did you meet with your surgeon post op? I saw mine one week post op but at the end of the appointment he dsud he would see me in 3 months time. Does that sound normal? I met with my orthodontist last week and I’m going back again tomorrow, dreading what they might do as I’m still very tender.

    I had my lower jaw moved forward by 5mm on one side and 10 mm on the other side (not sure how that works) and my top jaw was lowered 3mm and the whole jaw rotated slightly. Most people don’t understand why I did it, they all said I looked fine before but I was very concious of my overbite and I had a lot of discomfort, not to mention the difficulty biting!

    Debbie from Scotland

  229. Lydia June 3, 2012 at 6:12 pm #

    Thanks so much for this! I get my surgery July 20th!! I’ll be a senior next year in high school and was wondering how long you had braces on after the surgery! Thanks :)

  230. Graham June 4, 2012 at 12:21 am #

    Hi Debbie,

    I, like you, was on a liquid diet for 6 — 8 weeks. It’s the extreme, for sure, but it’s not unheard of.

    Your feeling will return but it may take between 2 and 3 months. It’s frustratingly slow, but that’s all part of the recovery.

    As for the frequency of visits with your surgeon, waiting the full three months does indeed seem spacious. I saw my surgeon at the 1-week, 2-week, 1-month, 2-month, and 3-month marks. Mind you, the only useful one of those appointments was when he removed my splint at the 2-month mark.

    If you feel the need to see your surgeon more often, then by all means, book an appointment. Your recovery will run its course naturally, however, so you may not need to.

    Play it by feeling, as always. =)

  231. Graham June 4, 2012 at 12:22 am #

    Hey Lydia,

    I had my braces on for 6 months following surgery. They recommend a year, but I was leaving the country so I had them removed early.

    Cheers!

  232. Joe June 4, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

    Got back from my first post-op follow up today! When I look at myself in the mirror, my bite looks crooked, but the x-rays today showed that my bite, is indeed, now aligned. This reassures me. I guess after all the swelling is gone and the splint comes off, the last bit of fine tuning will be done with some more orthodontics.

    Right now, it just feels like a waiting game…I’m watching Food Network to vicariously satisfy my hunger…I’m not sure why I’m doing that to myself even as my mouth starts to water and drool.

  233. Julia June 8, 2012 at 12:40 am #

    I’m 16 and I’m having jaw surgery on both the upper and lower mandible in a few days, I was just wondering what I would feel right after surgery because I’m kindve scared about the pain and how uncomfortable it will be. I have cleft lip and palate so I’m used to surgeries, but this one will be my most serious one and hopefully my last one.
    Thanks!

  234. Graham June 8, 2012 at 12:43 am #

    Hi Julia,

    You shouldn’t be in too much pain following surgery due to the lack of feeling altogether. This is a good thing.

    What you should expect is frustration. You won’t be able to eat solid food or speak for a few weeks, so make sure you have a good TV series to watch and ensure you go for walks outside every single day.

    It’s primarily a waiting game, and your sharpest blade will be keeping busy.

    Good luck!

  235. Joe June 8, 2012 at 3:39 am #

    Thoughts on splints: they are from the devil.

    Right now, I cannot even fathom how I’m going to endure another 6 weeks with these on. It feels like I have gigantic pieces of steak stuck between every teeth. It’s not painful, just really really really uncomfortable and frustrating.

    GAHHHHHHH

  236. Graham June 8, 2012 at 7:27 am #

    Hehe, the splint definitely represents on of the most frustrating experiences of my life to date.

    Remember, though: This, too, shall pass. (And when it does, you’ll be smiling approximately 30 hours per day!)

  237. Tara June 14, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

    I am at 8 weeks post op and am recovering slowly but surely. I still tire quite easily, though, and am surprised (and disappointe)by that. I can do a half day of work before I need to rest/nap/crash.

    Thank you for the extensive timeline! My teeth feel sore when I try to chew food (even rice) but I will start pushing myself more within the next couple of weeks.

    I am not at a point where I would recommend the procedure to anyone yet – maybe in another 2 months? 6 months? A year? It’s been really draining for me but I’m a mom and 44 years old. If I’d had it done 20 years ago when I was told I needed it, maybe it would have been a much easier experience. I know I’m not alone in being 40-something and having this done, though!

    Good luck to everyone. Take care. Be gentle.

    :D
    Tara

  238. Graham June 14, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

    Tara, the surgery is most certainly more taxing if you have children to raise and a job to attend to. Hopefully your energy returns within the next few weeks.

    “Take care. Be gentle.” That’s a beautiful way to sign off, and one that I can agree with. Good luck during your final month of recovery!

  239. Julia June 15, 2012 at 1:15 am #

    Just had my surgery and I went really well. Still VERY swollen and numb but I can already tell its going to look good. Anybody know when I might get the splints?

  240. Tammy June 15, 2012 at 4:47 am #

    Wow what a great blog. Ive been reading this ever since i had surgery last Thursday (June 7) reading this always brings my spirits up:) I had upper jaw surgery only so I don’t even want to imagine how Miserable I would have been had I had both.
    The thing that is killing me the absolute most is not being able to eat! My meals consist of juice, milk, soup, oatmeal and some fruits (all in a blender and then again through a siv or else it won’t go through my teeth) and of course with a syringe:(
    I cannot wait to be able to eat again. I had two appointments so far, both all he did was looked for an infection and gave me my
    Next appointment date. I have an appointment this Monday so Heres hoping I get some elastics off… *sigh*
    The swelling is also quite frustrating since its pretty much right up to my eye sockets!:/
    For pain I don’t have much. I only take the pain meds half the time, and I cannot wait until I’m done taking liquid calcium (yuck)
    Cannot wait to be able to speak as well as right now everything’s pen and paper or text. LOL some of my mumbling can be made out but not much.
    I was so frustrated the one night I started crying. Bad idea because then I almost couldn’t breathe with my Mouth shut and nose stuffy!
    Oh I need a time machine scheduled for months ahead:'(

  241. Tara June 15, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

    Thanks Graham :)

    Oh, Tammy, you are in the trenches right now. The first 2 weeks, esp. the 2nd (for me) are the roughest. It does get easier. I had moments of getting frustrated but they passed.

    I thought it might be helpful to share my experience for people who are afraid of having the surgery done: it will be much easier to have it done when you are younger as you heal faster and hopefully have a mom to tend to you. I’m the mom now! And I’m in grad school. I just have to slow down. Graham, I wanted you to know that your posts about exercising inspired me to book myself with an exercise therapist as I think I will feel better as I do more. I’m a “recovering national level athlete” too which means I don’t do taking it easy very well or gentle exercise. But I need to get my body moving.

    Anyway, what a well-done blog, Graham, with generosity of spirit galore. Awesome. You’re a talented writer with artistic vision that comes through here, too.

    I will definitely be checking in as time goes on.

  242. Graham June 16, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    Julia, if you didn’t have a splint in immediately following surgery, you won’t be receiving one. Consider yourself lucky. =)

  243. Graham June 16, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

    Tammy, if you do happen to invent a time machine that will let you skip ahead for 3 months at a time, let me know. I’d love to be business partners in a venture such as that. =)

  244. Joe June 17, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

    Hi Graham, sorry to bombard you with questions, but at what point were you able to open your mouth and move your jaw side to side?

  245. Brian June 17, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

    Hey my mom has commented on your blog before, and I had my surgery three days ago, so im at the peak of my swelling. I somehow was able to sleep on my stomach without much breathing problems, but what I was wondering is how I clean my splint/teeth with water when trying to take in liquids causing troubles. Even when I attempted to clean it with water, it was just as a challenge to create a easier breathing situation.

    OH and I don’t know if my mom mentioned, but I have a collapsed wall in my nose, making it impossible to breath out of one side of my nose, even before the surgery. Anyways I might be able to keep my one good side of my nose open so i can breath through it when trying to “eat”?

  246. Tammy June 20, 2012 at 4:31 am #

    Thanks Tara and graham for your comments, they made me smile. Well im on day 13 still have the same original elastics on so I’m still on a liquid diet (with syringe).
    However things are getting brighter on my end:) I no longer require the syringe to drink, only eat. I can drink out of a glass which is so much easier:D I’m sleeping through the night and the swelling has gone down considerably:) I still have a numb nose and still mumble but I have an appointment this coming Monday and he should be freeing me of some elastics then. Fingers are crossed.
    I know it’s only been 13 days but I’m so glad I’ve progressed to where I am now from where I was even a short week ago.
    It DOES get better!…and I can’t wait to see the improvement days and weeks from now!
    Thank you to everyone on here for all your tips, stories and words of encouragement:D it’s great to see people taking the time to help others out in a time of need:)

  247. Mary June 21, 2012 at 10:05 am #

    I’m on day 14 post op from double jaw surgery and chin advancement and I’m feeling better everyday! I have the majority of my swelling down except around my nose and upper lip and it feels amazing that I am getting feeling back everyday! The only thing I’m worried about is that my elastics have all snapped in the first week after my surgery because I was coughing uncontrollably but my doctor didn’t seem too worried about it. Also, I leave for college about 2 and a half months after the surgery, do you know if I will be able to look back to normal again in both looks and also be able to eat almost normally by then? Your blog is great! It has really helped me get through the past 2 weeks!

  248. Graham June 22, 2012 at 9:14 am #

    Joe, I wasn’t able to open my mouth to its full extent until approximately 4 months post-op. Movement comes as you eat and speak more.

  249. Graham June 22, 2012 at 9:18 am #

    Brian, breathing will indeed by difficult when eating and brushing due to the swelling. My only advice is to go about everything slowly and focus on your breathing so you don’t panic. We all had to slow down when eating and brushing for the first few months. You’ll do great, pal!

  250. Graham June 22, 2012 at 9:29 am #

    Hi Mary,

    You’ll definitely be eating relatively normally after two and a half months, but you may still be slightly swollen. You’ll be back to normal shortly after that point, though, so I honestly wouldn’t worry about it. =)

  251. Diame June 27, 2012 at 10:01 am #

    Hi , I am 13 days post-ops ..
    I did a double-jaw surgery .
    I had a review today , and the docs told me that 2 teeth have reclining gums .. exposing the root of the teeth.. i am very worry .. is this normal ?

  252. Athra July 6, 2012 at 11:07 pm #

    I had double jaw surgery on may 30th 2012, the first two days i have to admit was hell i honestly started thinking to my self i would rather die than suffer all this discomfort however it went really quick and i started talking 5 days after breathing normal after day 5 a survived on pumpkin soup for 3 weeks i started sleeping normal about a week later i started driving 1 week later i recovered well quick because i believe if u give strength to ur self u will recover quick and well so be strong and ofcourse u will get pain in ur gum and ears nose remember its a big procedure we went through u got to be happy that u got through it well, recovery will take time but think of the end results its worth it and thats what will keep u going! Be positive and feel free to ask any questions : )

  253. A July 6, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

    One question for graham im a type of girl that loves to look after my apperance and seeing my face swelled up like this is driving me crazy. My sister done the same surgery7 years ago and she looked awfull the first few months but if u see her now she looks gourgous im really scard i hope i get good results when the swelling goes down do u have any idea how long its gana take? coz i cant remember much from my sister.

  254. Graham July 7, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

    I’m glad to hear you managed to battle your way through those initial days, Athra! Positive thinking is honestly the best offense, isn’t it?

    As for your lack of confidence in your physical appearance right now, I encourage you not to worry about it. People are much more understanding than we give them credit for—strangers included. I believe I began to look like a regular human begin again at around the 2-month mark, but minor swelling may stay around for roughly 4 months. My honest advice is to trust that people will be understanding.

    I must also admit that I have a craving for pumpkin soup now! =)

  255. A July 7, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

    LOL im from australia and its winter now so creamy pumpkin soup was good. Thank you so much for ur reply. I really like the idea of this site i only wish i found it earlier.

  256. Jennifer July 8, 2012 at 3:17 am #

    So I am 6 days post-op and an in utter hell. I am swollen and tingly, but the most frustrating is the difficulty I am having swallowing. I kept mentioning this to the surgeons while I was in the hospital and it seemed like it was no big deal. I don’t know if it is because of the splint or something else, but I am almost to the point that I am worried I’m going to chjoke. Does everyone have this issue?

  257. Graham July 8, 2012 at 11:38 am #

    Hi Jennifer,

    I also had trouble swallowing for the first week and a half of my recovery. I think it was due to both swelling and the splint. Some people end up vomiting as a result of this during the first few weeks, so if that hasn’t happened to you yet, you’re still in better shape than others.

    You can rest assured that it’s an expected frustration and should disappear over the course of the next week. =)

  258. Jennifer July 8, 2012 at 11:59 am #

    Thanks so much! Your blog has literally saved me from jumping out of a window over the past few days. My surgery was uncomplicated but the care I received after was sub par at best. So I feel like I didn’t get all the knowledge from the nurses that I should have.

  259. A July 8, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

    Jennifer i had the same swollowing problem for the 1st week and the nurses were on top of my head always saying i should start drinking juices but i would only pretend however i discovered that water only helped my swollowing problem i just had little sips of cold water at a time and that problem was solved a week later i think that happens because our throat is swollen.

  260. Jennifer July 9, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

    The swallowing is definitely getting better over the last couple of days and in fact everything is moving right along. I had an orthodontist appointment and he said everything looks good. I also overheard one of the techs telling a patient with a palate expander that he may have trouble swallowing because your tongue thinks the foreign object is food, which makes complete sense to me now. I can’t wait for the splint to come out.

  261. Louhann July 10, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

    I almost have 2 weeks of having surgery today is my 11th day and the second day of having surgery already brushed my teeth and i can eat with a little spoon. I eat soup and oats. my recovery has been really fast but im still a little bit swelled up but just a little

  262. Jason July 11, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    Graham
    My son Jason(20 years old) will have the upper and lower surgery tomorrow. The diffence between the upper and lower jaw is 15mm. He has the under bite This site is great for the nervous parents.
    Thanks for the support!

  263. Graham July 11, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

    Louhann, it sounds like you’re recovering a lot more quickly than I did. I’m a little jealous of the speed at which you’re healing!

    Soup and oats sounds like a winning combination at this point. It’s filling and gets some salt into your system.

    Enjoy the next few weeks!

  264. Graham July 11, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

    I wish your son all the best tomorrow. His surgery will move along perfectly fine and he’ll be back to a regular lifestyle in just a few short months. Take good care of him, especially during those initial couple of weeks!

  265. Scott July 12, 2012 at 4:38 am #

    I’m at day 36 after having double jaw surgery and deviated septum repair on June 4th. Surgery was to primarily to remedy a bad case of sleep apnea. Doc said the deviated septum repair would be much easier during this procedure as they would have clear access to my sinus cavity through the roof of my mouth. Heard war stories from others that had surgery for only the deviated septum issue. All has gone very well for me. First few days were tough, but I was back to working half days after two weeks, and full time after three. Was able to eat soft foods at about 3 weeks. Still haven’t tried to blow nose and won’t for a couple more week. Guess I may have had easier time than others as orthodontist is taking hooks for elastics off my teeth today. I’ve had minimal pain and stopped using pain killers after week 3, and breathing has gotten much, much better. Finally feeling like my old self with more energy! Wife even had to check on me the night after I got home to make sure I was breathing as she was so used to my snoring. Only frustration at this point is the numb chin, which the doc said won’t go away for a couple months at least. Starting to feel tingling in the chin area though, which I’m happy about. Folks ask if I would do it again and I reply…. “In a heartbeat!” The most critical part for me….spoke with 4 surgeons before I found one I was extremely comfortable with and confident in. I was very hesitant to have the surgery until I met the doc that did the work. He even made sure that I spoke with three of his patients before he would let me have the surgery! After that it was full steam ahead. Best wishes for a speedy recovery to everyone, and a big kudos to Graham for his blog posts.

  266. Jason July 12, 2012 at 8:08 am #

    Today is the BIG day. 5 hours away from the double jaw surgery for my son. Thanks for all the support.
    Will keep you updated.

  267. Jason July 12, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

    The surgery was a success. They moved Jason’s lower jaw 9mm back and move his upper jaw 6mm forward. Due to swelling, they decided to keep the breathing tube on Jason overnight. We will be spending the night at the hospital.

  268. A July 13, 2012 at 1:28 am #

    Jason the first couple of days will be the hardest however they will get by so quick. The swelling is probly more than average due to the amount of mm the jaws were moved, my bottom jaw was supposedly moved 5mm back and the top 5mm forward and my face was swelled up alot i can imagine the swelling at 9mm but not to worry im sure everything will start to settle well in a week time.

  269. Graham July 13, 2012 at 9:46 am #

    Hi Scott,

    I think you’re smart for meeting with different surgeons to find one you felt comfortable with. I lucked out and felt confident in my first surgeon, but I certainly would have shopped around had I not.

    It sounds like you enjoyed a quicker recovery than most. You certainly can’t complain about minimal pain and the ability to eat after only 3 weeks!

    Take care and enjoy the next few months!

  270. Graham July 13, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    That’s great to hear that the surgery proceeded without hitch. I look forward to your son recovering and enjoying his new smile. He’s going to heal up perfectly!

  271. Jason July 13, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

    Jason is home today! It’s been 30 hours since he had left for the hospital. It was a 4 hour surgery and so far he has no pain – amazing! The aquaduct has helped him alot to relieve pain. Still slowly learning how to eat – we are using a medicine dropper to feed him – just like a bird. Will keep you updated tomorrow.

  272. Jason July 14, 2012 at 11:41 pm #

    Day 2
    His face has swelled more. His appetite is better -had 6 oz of ensure. The pain is minor.
    will keep you updated.

  273. Graham July 15, 2012 at 8:53 am #

    Minor pain and eating Ensure are both things I like to hear! His swelling will continue for another day or two until it peaks. Remember: Ensure, prune juice, tomato soup, and walks outside are the key to success at this point.

  274. Jason July 15, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

    Day 3
    Jason’s eating has increased a little but not by much. Takes to Jamba Juice (orange dream machine) more than the ensure. already lost 10 lbs in 4 days, so he’s down to 165. Still no pain and no further swelling. Graham, we really appreciate your advice because we see a lot of similarities with what you went through and helps us a lot.

  275. Jason July 16, 2012 at 10:46 pm #

    Day 4
    Although improved, Jason’s eating is still problematic. The only thing he’ll take are smoothies and water. Tried giving him a little chicken broth but he spit it out. The guy wants texture in his food, so he’s not a happy camper. Any advice?

  276. Ian Seki July 18, 2012 at 7:16 pm #

    Damn I got my hopes up too high. I was excited to get my jaw unwired by week 2 but sadly my jaw was a class 5 so I have the full 8 weeks of being wired shut… But I still love to visit your guide anyways to remind myself constantly that this won’t last forever.

  277. Lyn July 18, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

    I really appreciate the upbeat tone of most of the posts on this site. I have, however, a cautionary tale that I think you should hear.

    I had my surgery 15 months ago. I was told that I might have permanent numbness of my chin. That was all. What has actually transpired is significant paresthesia of my palate, my top teeth and gums, my lower left teeth and gums, and from the midline of my lower lip to just past the lip on the left. I was not warned of this possibility. Eating is not fun, things don’t taste like they used to, chewing is weird, I still can’t chew hard things like carrots, and my top teeth feel like they don’t belong in my mouth and I am conscious of them all the time.

    I think it is important for you all to know that some of you are very lucky, but for others, the outcome is not as happy. I regret having the surgery and would warn anyone away from doing it.

    Sorry to be the bearer of news you would rather not hear, but somebody has to say it.

  278. Shane July 18, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

    Hey,

    So all the comments and stuff have been really helpful in making me feel more comfortable about whats going on with my face. Just crossed the 2 week mark after a double jaw surgery and it has gotten much easier to deal with.

    Thought I would add something that helped me. So, I’m fully wired and still have a lot of stitches in my mouth and they were giving me a lot of trouble when I was trying to clean out my mouth initially. I used the kids toothbrush with the basic tooth paste and tried the mouthwash the doctor gave me but everything really irritated the incision points. One of my relatives works at a skilled nursing home and deals with things like this a lot and she suggested “irrigating” with salt water. So I got a small oral medicine syringe and mixed up salt water and lightly squirted the salt water along the incision lines. It both soothed the irritation and, according to my surgeon, has maintained better oral hygiene than the majority of cases he has handled.

    Just a suggestion.

  279. Abby July 19, 2012 at 9:06 pm #

    Hi im abby and I only had lower jaw surgery. My lower lip is turning a dark purple almost red color. Is that normal?

  280. Graham July 21, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

    Jason, I must apologize for my tardy response. I’ve been traveling across Argentina for the past 5 days and haven’t had a chance to respond.

    When I was trudging through my first week, I found that Campbell’s tomato soup w/ rice—blended, of course—was a nice, salty meal with a bit of texture.

    If his eating is still an issue, try serving him that and see how it goes. Best of luck. =)

  281. Graham July 21, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

    Ian, you’re the first person I’ve met who will also have to deal with being wired shut for more than a few weeks. Just remember that, in a few short months, this will all be over and you’ll be smiling 24/7!

  282. Graham July 21, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

    Lyn, I appreciate you sharing your story (and being completely honest about it). As with all surgeries, there are rare cases where the outcome is not optimal, and I’m sad to hear that you’ve been dealt one of those hands.

    I hope you’ve found, or will find, ways to cope with the results you’ve been left with. I feel for you.

    Once again, thanks for sharing.

  283. Graham July 21, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

    Abby, my lips turned some interesting shades of red due to swelling and lack of circulation, but they never turned purple. If you are experiencing pain in your lips or the dark color persists for more than a day or two, I would give your surgeon a call and ask them. If anyone has seen something like that, your surgeon probably has. Good luck! =)

  284. Correne July 23, 2012 at 6:00 pm #

    I had lower jaw surgery on 7/11/12 to correct my underbite. At my 1st post-op appointment my surgeron had to push my lower jaw back and reband me because he said that my bite was not settling properly due to the swelling in the joints and that once the swelling goes down my jaw should be where it’s supposed to be. But now I’m concerned because I can tell my bite is still not right and I have to go back to see him on Friday. When he pushed on my jaw it was VERY painful and brought tears to my eyes, I really don’t want to have to go through that again. Has anyone else had this happen?

  285. Graham July 25, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    Correne, my jaws seemed misaligned for the first month or so as well. As your surgeon told you, once the swelling recedes a bit, your jaws will “slip” into place. Time and patience are key in your recovery. Good luck!

  286. Toofypegs July 26, 2012 at 3:30 pm #

    Hello Graham, this is a very useful site.

    I have just (10 days ago) had upper and lower jaw surgery to correct a gummy smile. Prior to surgery my occlusion was near perfect. All they were meant to do is raise it 5mm. However, they raised it 8mm in the first surgery (to perform just upper jaw surgery). I absolutely panicked as my bite was (and is now) terrible. 2 days after the first surgery they redid it (I thought to lower the jaw slightly and realign it as it was off-centre). However, they advanced the lower jaw 3 mm instead.

    Almost 2 weeks on the swelling is subsiding but I’m noticing I now have lip incompetence. In fact, my top lip seems to have disappeared.

    Does anyone else have this problem after surgery? I can’t understand why the top lip has now shrunk away. Side profile is now pretty poor with a Bubba Gump type bottom lip(alright, slight exaggeration but you get the picture).

    I keep being told the swelling will go down but I don’t think that’s the issue, am concerned.

    Any suggestions?

    Many thanks

  287. Correne July 26, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

    how did you guys deal with the nerve pain? my chin in still numb but at night I’ve been getting terrible pins/needles and spasms and it’s more painful than the 1st few days post-op! My surgeon told me to take Motrin but it’s not working and now I can’t sleep again, help!

  288. Lyn July 26, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

    My doc gave me Ativan. It helps with the spasms but it really spaced me out. Helps with sleep too.

  289. Jason July 26, 2012 at 10:48 pm #

    Jason had his 2 week checkup. Everything looks good. His nose has started bleeding off and on which is normal. His weight has stabilized – lost about 14 lbs. Swelling has gone down, but still a little puffy. Diet is getting better – we have been liquidfying chilli and spaghetti for him. The doctor reminded him not to try chewing so he would not risk popping some screws. Will provide anotther update next week.

  290. Julie mccready July 29, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

    i had my jaw broken in 2 places about 3 months ago. And have been told by my surgeon that the plates on my left hand side are infected and the bone is Not healing and am going into hospital on Thursday to have another operation and my surgeon says i Will need to get my face cut from my ear to my chin and a bigger plate put in and i am worried that i Will be left with a big scar. Can u tell me more about what Will happen when i get my operation please

  291. Graham August 1, 2012 at 10:47 am #

    Hi Toofypegs,

    Everybody frets about their appearance for the first few months of recovery. My lips were also huge and misaligned, my bite was open, and my side profile made me gasp.

    However, as the swelling goes away (and this takes at least a couple of months), your lips should reappear and look proper.

    My advice is to trust your surgeon and wait for another 5—6 weeks until the swelling has dissipated a bit. It’s difficult to know what you’ll actually look like until that point.

    Best of luck!

  292. Dean poplawski August 1, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

    Hey graham,
    I am currently 49 days into my jaw surgery where my upper jaw was broken once and my lower jaw twice as well as a plate inserted in my chin. I can’t tell you how spot on your blog has been according to my experience through this surgery even though I never had a splint. My question for you has to do with my lips and cheeks.At the point I’m at now, I am able to eat most foods that aren’t too tough to chew that I can fit in my mouth as it doesnt open very wide yet and I still lack feeling in my lower lip and chin. While my bones are all healed according to my surgeon and my mouth/face feels light years better then it did 4 weeks ago, the movement of my lips and cheeks is the most painful part as they feel SO stiff and tight and any stretching movement cause a shooting pain. My surgeon says this is because they have been stagnant for 7 weeks and scar tissue has built up which makes sense, but I wanted to know if this happened to you and what you did about it.

    Thanks!
    Dean

  293. Graham August 1, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

    Hi Correne,

    Experiencing the “pins and needles” sensation is a good sign because it means your nerves are reawakening. My only suggestion is to try sleeping with a heat pack on your chin to sooth the sensation.

    Hope this helps!

  294. Graham August 1, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

    Julie, I apologize but I’m not sure if you’ll be left with a scar or not because my surgery was completely endoscopic. I would ask your surgeon. I’m sure this isn’t the first time he’s performed a procedure like that. I’m sure everything will be okay once you’re all healed up. =)

  295. Graham August 1, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

    Hi Dean,

    I definitely dealt with that awful scar tissue. It shows up in your lips, cheeks, and nose, and it can be quite painful if you’re not gentle with it.

    My recommendation is to chew gum all day long and to whistle several times throughout the day. Both of these activities will help break the scar tissue up. Aside from that, eat slowly so you can focus on minimal stretching of your cheeks and lips.

    Best of luck, my friend!

  296. Jason August 9, 2012 at 10:15 pm #

    Graham

    Jason finally got his wires removed today but still has his bands on to do some further adjustment with his bite. He’s now trying to adjust to eating again. Do you have suggestions? How long did it take for you to adjust before you actually got your chewing ability back?

  297. Graham August 10, 2012 at 6:57 pm #

    Hi Joseph,

    I remember being excited to eat solid food the moment my splint was removed, but unfortunately it takes time to remember how to chew and to redevelop the strength in your jaws. It took me approximately two weeks before I could chew comfortably again.

    I recommend Jason chews gum as often as possible throughout the day. This will both teach him how to chew with his new bite while strengthening his jaws at the same time.

  298. Sam August 11, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    Hi again Graham

    I had a look at the timeline and you mention that you started chewing solid food at 10 weeks. My surgeon said that I should have soft diet for 6 weeks. Does this mean that I can start eating just about anything like pizza or rice and curry after that? I am sooooo bored of soup, ensure and mashed potato lol.

  299. Graham August 11, 2012 at 10:56 am #

    Hey Sam!

    When it comes to eating and chewing, let your pain be your guide. If you’re trying to bite through a piece of pizza and you find it painful or uncomfortable, then put the pizza aside and opt for something softer.

    I stuck to soup, pasta, potatoes, and similar foods for the first few weeks of my reintroduction to solid food. It took me about 6 weeks before I was able to chew steak and eat raw vegetables again.

    Eat whatever you like, just chew slowly and be careful. =)

  300. nicole August 12, 2012 at 6:27 am #

    Hi im due to have double jaw surgery in january. how long roughly will it take before i can get back to work??

  301. Kristen August 12, 2012 at 8:33 am #

    This is something I’m concerned about that I have not seen come up on any jaw surgery blog I’ve visited. I’m on day 13 after my upper and lower jaw surgery and the swelling is pretty much gone. Now that I can see my face better it is completely asymmetrical because all of the muscles on the left side of my face, particularly the masseters, are huge and have been overworked for so long compared to the right side, which are practically atrophied and gaunt. It just worked out that way due to the horrible jaw and bite position i’ve had for so long, but I never noticed this discrepancy before. The bigger side also contains the screws and what not, would that also contribute to it being bigger? What can I do to correct this? It even makes my jaw look uneven.

  302. Binta August 12, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

    Hi Nicole,
    I am on day 13 double jaw /chin post op. I took a month off from work but now, the swelling has decreased a lot and I am almost back to normal. I started drinking from the cup from day 1 ( My med were pills). I am even thinking on going back to work and save 2 weeks off my hollidays for Xmas. But you know, I think each person is diffrent than other and the recovery as well.
    Thanks

  303. Richard August 12, 2012 at 10:18 pm #

    Hi Nicole,

    I was off work for 2 weeks :)

    -Richard

  304. debbie b August 12, 2012 at 10:34 pm #

    @ Lyn – I am so glad for your post. I am 11 months post op and have isues almost identical to yours . My entire lower lip is numb, as well. I will be 60 next month – now the surgeon is trying to relate the issues to my age. Please post if things get better for you.

  305. Lyn August 12, 2012 at 10:40 pm #

    Ah! Thanks for posting Debbie! I am 65. My orthodontist was reluctant regarding the surgery because of my age and also the fact that I have osteoporosis. The surgeon, on the other hand, was quite insistent that these were but minor obstacles and I would sail through. He encountered quite a problem on the upper left side and could not complete the procedure he planned. The left is where I have most of the trouble. Hmmm.

    I will most certainly post if there is a miraculous improvement. And you do the same. Best wishes for us both!

    Thanks again Graham for this blog!

  306. nicole August 16, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

    Binta and Richard,

    thank u so much for your reply!!!

  307. Julie August 19, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    Hi everyone,

    I’m most likely having double jaw surgery to correct my underbite in a year or two. I don’t have a very prominent underbite but my orthodontist highly recommended surgery so that my top teeth wouldn’t grind my lower teeth. I really want to fix it but I’m also worried about the results after the surgery. I don’t really want my nose to change for example. Is this something I should worry about? Or maybe in my case they don’t have to move my jaws very far so perhaps it will be okay.

    By the way this site is really helpful :)

  308. Graham August 20, 2012 at 8:09 am #

    Nicole, it depends on your line of work. If you need to speak to people on the job, I would take 5—6 weeks off. If not, I would recommend taking 3—4 weeks off, depending how you feel after the third week. Good luck!

  309. Graham August 20, 2012 at 8:46 am #

    Hi Kristen,

    It’s difficult to comment without actually seeing what you look like, but I also thought my face looked horribly lopsided for the first few months. It took almost 4 months before it evened out. While you think your swelling is “pretty much gone,” I can assure you that it is not.

    Don’t pass any judgements on yourself until at least 2 months have gone by since surgery. At that time, if you still think the results are not as you desired, have a chat with your surgeon and ask them what to expect.

    Be patient, my friend. Your face will change a lot in these coming weeks. =)

  310. Graham August 20, 2012 at 10:33 am #

    Julie, while the shape of your face—nose included—will change, it will be a very subtle change. I assure you that you will still look like yourself.

    If your teeth grinding is proving to be a frustrating problem for you and your orthodontist thinks this surgery will fix that, then I recommend it on their behalf. Three years later, I’m still super happy I went through with the operation. =)

  311. Laura August 24, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

    Hey Graham,
    what a site, what a blessing; thanks! I am just finishing day 16 post op. I had an underbite so I had double jaw surgery and a genioplasty. I’m a mom of 8 and am keeping busy, trying not to think of my face! I had tight rubber bands, was banded shut only 4.5 days. I then was told to open and talk as much a possible, only having two bands on the side of each cheek. I’m paranoid about chewing or pressing my teeth together. My top lip has shrunk and makes me sad but I’m hoping and praying that that goes away??? (does it? does it come back?) THis is a much longer process then I ever anticipated! wow. I’m totally numb in the lower lip and chin and behind my nose, it’s getting old. I talk weird and feel sad or discouraged about my appearance, but i know to wait several months, thanks to you! . It will be a beautiful day to have feeling back.
    I’m eating yogurt, smoothies, cottage cheese, oatmeal and junior mints melt in my mouth just great!
    I think being told to talk and open etc. after 4 days is “new” I haven’t read any other reports like mine.
    Anyway, Graham, thanks so much, enjoy paris!!!! laura

  312. Graham August 26, 2012 at 5:28 pm #

    Hi Laura,

    It sounds like you’re recovering more or less as expected. Don’t be concerned with your lack of feeling and the size of your lip at this point. As you mentioned, patience is key.

    I also couldn’t believe how stressful (and long) the recovery was, but it will be worth it in the end.

    (I think I need to go find some Junior Mints now. You’ve given me a craving!)

  313. Pam August 29, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

    Is there anyone over 50 who had to have the double jaw surgery and septum for sleep apnea? I think this is a great website.

    However, I think my pain is stronger and longer lasting than someone much younger. It is less than a month and some days you would think I just had the surgery yesterday. I would sure like to hear from an older person because this is so discouraging. If I could do it over again, I wouldn’t; I’d take my chances and die in 5 years. (I know I have the best surgeon in town).

  314. Jayne September 1, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Pam, I had the surgery done 15 months ago. I never really had any postop pain but the initial recovery was rough. I still am numb in most of my lower lip and chin. I don’t like to eat out because I still can’t feel if I have food on my face or if I am dribbling liquids. My speech is also a little distorted from what it was pre surgery. Two big pluses are my teeth fit together now and I can breath through my nose (I didn’t have sleep apnea prior to surgery just a deviated septum).
    At only one month don’t get discouraged. Things change constantly in how you feel. I still feel like I am healing and that everyday I get a little more feeling back. My surgeon told me it could take up to 2 years for feeling to return and in some instances the numbness can be permanent. I took my chances and just keep a positive outlook because it is the choice you made and you can’t go back.

  315. Kevin September 3, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

    Hi everyone! I just wanted to take a second and send a shout out to Graham, and everyone else who has commented on this site! It has been such an inspiration to read everyone’s stories, questions and answers. I’m on day six post-op of double jaw surgery and today is by far the best day yet. Yesterday was down right miserable, but I made it. It’s amazing what a difference a day can make. Tomorrow is my first check-up and I’m looking forward to what the doc has to say. The roof of my mouth feels a little swollen today (or maybe it’s my tongue), reducing what little space is left between my tongue, splint and it, and I’m still trying to get used to that feeling. But otherwise I’m on the mend and appreciate everyone of you for sharing your story — especially you Graham. Thank you!

  316. Jason September 3, 2012 at 11:09 pm #

    Graham,

    we apprecite this website. We have a unique problem – Jason had a double jaw surgery on July 12th and everything turned out well, but since the surgery decreased Jason’s jaw by 15 mm, his tongue is now too large for his now corrected jaw. the surgeon said that Jason’s tongue will in time shrink to adapt the new jaw. It’s been 7 weeks; how long did it take for you or other readers? We noticed that Jason’s lips has shrunk as well. Thanks again for a great column.

  317. Graham September 4, 2012 at 2:58 am #

    Never a problem, Kevin! You sound like you’re in better spirits than even I was. What’s your secret? =)

  318. Graham September 4, 2012 at 3:08 am #

    Hi Joseph,

    I’ve not yet encountered someone who had any issue with the size of their tongue—all physical fears have been purely external until now. Our bodies indeed adapt to many of the forced changes we throw at them. For example, my open bite is now corrected simply because my teeth grew out until they met each other, thus closing the gap. It took 2 full years, but it happened.

    I recall biting my tongue quite a lot during the first 5—6 months following surgery because, much like Jason’s, it felt too large for the new position of my teeth. I adjusted quite naturally to the reformed shape of the inside of my mouth without really thinking about it, but it took time.

    I think your surgeon is correct. Jason’s tongue, or at least the way his body operates it, should adjust in due time. Encourage him to chew more slowly and practise speaking for now, as both of those things will help his mind adapt and learn to control his tongue in its changed environment.

    Let me know if you find anything else out. Best of luck, my friend!

  319. Kevin September 5, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    Graham… I’m a firm believer in “fake it til you make it.” Lol! I have my good days and bad, I suppose just like everyone else. But I’ve been able to drink from a cup, although very carefully, since surgery so I’ve not been subjected to the food by syringe routine. That seems like it’d be very frustrating. My biggest battle is staying out of my own head, and just taking one day at a time. It’s hard to stay ahead of the recovery mentally, as anxiety can creep up at any time. That’s my biggest struggle now, but I’m making it one day at a time, just as everyone else whose had this surgery does. I think that’s why so many people find your blog helpful, as it let’s us know others have gone through/are going through the same thing, and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks again to you, Graham, and everyone else who has written in. I turn to this site nearly daily as the encouragement it offers is tremendous.

  320. Emma September 7, 2012 at 4:28 pm #

    Graham, you’re site is such an inspiration, I’m honestly considering making one for myself if not for other people to see, for myself to watch my progress and be able to look back on it. Don’t worry, it will be nothing in comparison to yours, but it will be something.

  321. Graham September 10, 2012 at 2:56 am #

    Thanks for the kind words, Kevin! I love the phrase, “fake it ’til you make it.” It applies in so many situations (especially in business, haha).

    Stay strong and power through the rest of your recovery. It sounds like you’ve got it all figured out!

  322. nicole September 28, 2012 at 9:02 am #

    Question: the surgeon told me that with double jaw surgery my nose may widen and possible tilt up a little. my nose doesnt have much room to tilt up without having me look like miss piggy. Is this surgery really worth having if im trading one problem for another??? ahhhh so conflicted

  323. Richard September 28, 2012 at 9:10 am #

    Hi Nicole,

    My surgeon didn’t tell me anything about my nose changing. Of course after the surgery I was quite swollen so the appearance of my nose did change slightly, but it went back to normal after most of the swelling went down. Having said that though, your situation might be different to mine. Best of luck with whatever you decide to do :)

  324. Jamie September 28, 2012 at 9:40 pm #

    Hi Graham,
    I was wondering if you had any infections along the way? I had the double jaw surgery and today I reached my two weeks. I found out 5 days ago that I had an infection plus I somehow ripped out one stitch on each side of my lower jaw. Today has been the first day that I actually feel a bit better. I have experienced a lot of pain in the two weeks and my surgeon prescribed a good pain killer yesterday for me as the T3’s didn’t agree with me. I also haven’t been sleeping well either. The surgeon said to me that the infection has caused the pain. I too would also thank you for having this site to read. This sure has been an experience.

  325. Graham September 29, 2012 at 1:37 am #

    Nicole, since your upper jaw will be moved around, the position of your nose will change. My surgeon had to shave my septum a little bit to make my nose fit back in place as well. Your nose will look perfectly fine after. Many of these surgeons have performed thousands of operations, so they know what they need to do to put your face back together after the surgery is complete (as crazy as that sounds). Worry not, my friend! =)

  326. Graham September 29, 2012 at 1:42 am #

    Hi Jamie,

    I was lucky enough to make it through my recovery without falling victim to any infections, but I certainly tore a few stitches out along the way. As far as infections go, make sure you aren’t eating anything with too much sugar or too many processed ingredients, because you don’t want bacteria from these foods to get stuck in your mouth. Also, brush and floss daily if you’re able, and gargle warm salt water every morning and night.

    As for sleeping, that’s just a burden you must bear until your swelling recedes enough to allow you to sleep comfortably through the night. Laying your head on a heatpack may help a bit, but you likely won’t sleep for a full night for another couple of weeks yet. It will come, though! =)

  327. Jamie September 29, 2012 at 9:39 am #

    Thanks Graham for the response. It’s great to be able to talk to people who have gone through what I am going through. Thank you.

  328. Sam September 29, 2012 at 11:17 am #

    Hey Graham

    I’m currently almost 3 months post surgery. I haven’t been to the gym since the surgery and am dying to get back. Just wanted to ask if you think there would be any problems going back to pushing weights.

    Thanks

  329. Jamie September 29, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

    Hey Sam — I’m 5 weeks and 5 days post surgery, and have been given the ok by my surgeon to start lifting again. I am going to start with low weights and high reps, and was told to be careful not to clench my jaw. I’ve also been biking for a few weeks, which has been a lovely way to get back into being active. * Jamie (Different Jamie from the one who had surgery on 9/14 :)

  330. Sam September 30, 2012 at 5:35 am #

    Thank you for that Jamie. One more question, I know Graham mentioned in one of his posts that he was chewing gum to help his chewing improve but is this recommended by doctors?

  331. Jamie September 30, 2012 at 9:57 am #

    Not by my doctors, since my orthodontist won’t let me chew gum with my braces. But I have heard other people say they chewed gum as well. Might be worth talking to your doctor about if it interests you.

  332. Graham September 30, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

    Sam, I went back to the gym at about 5 weeks post-op. You can start lifting weights as soon as you have the energy to do so, but make sure you lift light for the first few weeks. Heavy weight puts a lot of stress on your jaw (believe it or not), and you certainly don’t want to pop anything out of place. Good luck!

  333. Graham September 30, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

    Sam, I’ll admit that chewing gum is not a doctor-prescribed treatment (and, as Jamie mentioned, is against the code of orthodontists), but it’s a surefire way to rebuild the strength in your jaw as quickly as possible. Orthodontists also tell you not to eat popcorn, but honestly, who can go 2–3 years without eating popcorn? =)

  334. Jamie October 2, 2012 at 11:52 am #

    This morning I was officially released from my surgeon’s care, 6 weeks after an involved double jaw surgery. No more visits with the surgeon until my braces come off! I can do what I like and eat what I like, with no restrictions. Unfortunately, I still can’t talk, sleep, eat solid food, open my mouth more than finger’s width, or breathe through my right nostril, and I still am numb, swollen, and prone to drooling. Seems my bones are healed, but the rest of me has to catch up…

  335. Graham October 3, 2012 at 4:13 am #

    That’s good to hear, Jamie! Your recovery is only half over, so your speech and flexibility will come back over the next couple of months.

  336. Jamie L October 3, 2012 at 4:51 am #

    Well it’s been 2 weeks and 5 days and the new drugs treating my infection are kicking in. I have noticed that the puss has been reduced significantly and I am starting to feel a bit better. I am still numb on the lower lip, chin and parts of the inner mouth. I know this is normal and do realize that this will take time. I feel that the infection put me back a bit but now that the drugs are working I am happy. This has been quite the experience. For most of you out there, when did you start going back to work? I am hoping that I can return next week….at least for most part of the days.

  337. Graham October 3, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    Jamie, I returned to work after only 2 weeks, but I was unable to speak and barely had the energy to make it through the day. My general recommendation for returning to work is one month. It really depends on your job, though. If you need to talk to customers, you’ll need to make sure you’re confident in your speech before you dive back into the working world. However, people tend to be quite sympathetic when you say, “I apologize for my speech. I just had DOUBLE-FREAKING-JAW SURGERY.” =)

  338. Jamie October 5, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

    (Lots of Jamies on right now. I’m the Jamie who had surgery on 8/21/12, so I’m now 6 weeks and 3 days out.)

    It’s been very useful for me to read about other people’s slightly-unusual issues on here, so I thought I’d note my slightly-unusual issues, too. I’d love to hear from others who have experienced either problem, and will come back later to share how things turn out.

    Issue #1. My lips don’t close. Instead, my upper lip stops right above my top brackets and my lower lip stops at the bottom of my upper teeth. If I really try, I can make them touch, but I can’t close my mouth well enough to keep mouthwash in my mouth when I swish it around or to create enough suction to drink from a straw. Additionally, some letters (e.g., “B”) are hard for me to say. My surgeon tells me to be patient and to stretch my upper lip to keep scar tissue from forming, but I’m starting to worry now at 6.5 weeks. I’ve been stretching from the beginning and find the lip is very flexible and mobile — it just doesn’t reach down far enough. I’ll wait until 12 weeks before following up, but really hope the problem goes away or lessens before then. My lips didn’t close before the surgery, and I could certaily live with it if they don’t ever close completely, but I eventually need to be able to at least keep my mouth closed while I chew, use a straw, and be able to swish mouthwash.

    Issue #2. I can’t breathe through my right nostril. The passage is not completely blocked, but 90% of the day I use only my left nostril. I know they first tried to intubate me through my right nostril, but couldn’t — so the right passage is probably smaller than my left passage, and the remaining swelling could be causing the current blockage. But I worry something got a little damaged when they tried to intubate me and will need to be fixed. I am scheduling an appointment to meet with an ENT in about a month, and I’ll cancel it if the problem goes away before then.

    As a note: The upper jaw portion of my surgery was fairly complicated, and involved breaking my upper jaw into four pieces. So I may still have more swelling to my upper lip and around my nose than typical — which could, in turn, aggrevate the above problems.

    On the plus side, just about everything else seems to be going well. I’m particularly excited that I ate Thai food last night and a tuna melt today for lunch, and that my mouth now opens two-fingers wide. Looks like I eventually will re-learn how to use my mouth!

  339. Graham October 6, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    Hi Jamie,

    Not being able to bring your lips together would indeed be frustrating. I can’t speak to that issue, but hopefully it’s related to either swelling or muscle flexibility. Try to whistle throughout the day to keep scar tissue from forming, and let me know if the issue resolves itself by the 3-month mark.

    Regarding your nostril, I imagine that’s due to swelling. The only reason I can think of that a nostril would be blocked is if it’s caved in, but that would be immediately noticeable when you look in the mirror. I’d give the swelling another month or so and I think your nostril will open right back up.

    I’m happy to hear you’re able to enjoy different types of food again. Your mention of Thai food has instilled a craving in me!

  340. lea-anne October 6, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    hi everyone im awaiting surgery for both upper and lower jaw ive recently had wisdom teeth out and was in alot of pain so decided to research jaw surgery to see what im letting myself in for and i must say im absolutly terrified now i hate pain and not being able to sleep so this sounds terrible please everyone answer me one question if you had to do it all again would you? this may make me think its all worth while.

    p.s im not getting it done through cosmetic reasons its due to my biting im getting it done

  341. Jamie October 6, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

    Thanks, Graham, for the kind words as I try to be patient. :) And, actually, just as I read your post my right nostril opened up a little. I’ll be back as things resolve.

    Good luck, Lea-Anne. I can’t imagine many people do this for cosmetic reasons — that’s just a nice side benefit. Given I can’t yet really use my improved bite, I’m not yet sure whether the surgery was worth it, and I certainly would do a lot to avoid doing it a second time. But it seems like just about everyone eventually decides the surgery was worth it, and I assume I will, too, in another month or two…

  342. Jamie October 6, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

    P.S. Hi Jamie L. Nice to “meet” you. I also had a bit of a post-surgery infection that left me feeling like crud longer than I expected. Although even without the infection, I’m pretty sure I’d have felt like crud longer than expected. I thought I’d be back in the office after two weeks, and do some work from home after just one week. Turns out I didn’t really start doing more than answer email until about a month after the surgery. My job isn’t physically demanding, and doesn’t involve a lot of talking, but I do have to be mentally present. The drugs, lack of sleep, and discomfort made it very hard to concentrate. Last week (Week 6) was my first full week spent in the office.

  343. Graham October 6, 2012 at 11:53 pm #

    Lea-anne, if I found myself a few years ago before I had the operation, I would definitely go through with it again. The benefits far outweigh the consequences in my opinion. And while the recovery is frustrating, it’s only 3 months long. The benefits will last for the rest of your life. =)

  344. Thomas October 7, 2012 at 7:38 am #

    I would like to share a few of my experiences with my surgery. I had very severe sleep apnea that it was necessary to have surgery so that when I get older and the sleep apnea comes back, the CPAP will work.

    I don’t remember 3 weeks post op because I had complications after surgery. My nasal intibation tubes could not be removed for 6 days I therefore became ventilator dependent. While on the ventilator, my left lung had collapsed and I got a severe case of pneumonia. It was necessary for the surgeons to perform a tracheotomy in order to remove the tubes after the collapsed lung correct itself.

    I was in the intensive care unit for 12 days afterward and pumped full of so many drugs that I started to hallucinate. At one point I thought my doctor was an alien.

    When I was able to return home I had a sever bloody nose that necessitated a trip to the emergency room where massive blood cots came out of my sinuses. Once the nose bleed was controlled, I was re-admitted to the hospital for observation. When I returned home again I needed to see my doctor again due to an abscess from a stitch.

    The liquid (blenderized) diet in addition to the opioid drugs caused abdominal issues. I had to stop taking the drugs and needed to eat solid foods sooner than I was supposed to. It hurt, but it was necessary.

    I am now approaching my 8th week post op, my trach is almost completely healed over, swelling is almost gone, and the feeling in my lower lip is slowly coming back. My energy levels are better, but not what they used to be pre-surgery (but with all the complications I experienced I am not surprised).

    This is a major surgery and the decision to have it done should not be made without much deliberation. There are risks of major complications. Most people come out of this surgery without many problems, but others like myself will have some serious issues. Should I have been a smoker and not had very attentive doctors, I would have died. If there are other options to solve your problems other than surgery, please consider those prior to choosing the surgical solution.

    I am doing good at the moment, it is likely that I will recover fully, and I no longer have sleep apnea. While I experienced major complications, the surgery was a success.

  345. Thomas October 7, 2012 at 7:50 am #

    I also forgot to mention that I also had issues with the anesthesia.

  346. Graham October 7, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    My goodness, Thomas, you’ve been through quite the experience! I’m glad you pulled through and that your body is finally healing up appropriately. Embrace your newfound sleep—you deserve it!

  347. Jamie L October 8, 2012 at 6:59 pm #

    Thanks Jamie for the feedback. I am planning to go back to work this coming Thursday after I see the surgeon in the morning. I am getting my energy back and I am also getting off the pain killers. Today is the first day I haven’t taken them. Lots of different feelings, tingling and pin like needles going through my face. I have been told that is normal and the nerve endings are repairing itself. If I had to do it all over again, I would be on the fence but seeing so far what the surgeon has done with my jaws, I would probably do it. I can somewhat smile as the stitches seem to be easing up. Thank god I have my two little dogs to help me go from day to day. Those of you who live alone, good idea to have a friend or family member either stay with you to help you out or stay with someone. I stayed with my siste for one week and that really helped me out. Cheers

  348. David Do October 8, 2012 at 9:18 pm #

    I had surgery almost 4 weeks ago – I go back to work next Monday. I am a 24 year old male by way of reference. My surgery went well and my doctor told me that all my nerves were intact – but it worries me that I am still unable to feel my chin and bottom lip. I can feel everywhere else on my face except my upper right lip which right now just feels tingly when I touch it. This is a good sign though. I had the same surgery as Graham and have been healing surprisingly quickly. Unfortunately about a week and 4 days after my surgery I fainted while walking to my bathroom and land on my head with a pretty bad cut. The doctor told me to visit him at his office (on a Sunday) and he stitched me up (two stitches) and checked the jaw. The jaw was fine but unfortunately I now have a pretty bad scar above my right eye.

    I only wore rubber bands for my first week and could immediately drink out of a cup albeit I was extremely messy. My doctor took out the bands and said to leave them off for about a week. The next week my bite shifted so he asked me to put a band back on but it was only one. We have been doing this for the past couple of weeks leaving them on and off. Unfortunately it keeps shifting. I am able to open my jaw pretty wide and the doctor gave me exercises to start stretching out my jaw. I can almost fit three fingers between my upper and lower jaws.

    At 2 wks and 5 days my doctor told me to start eating soft foods, this totally surprised me because my splint was still attached to my upper jaw. But to say the least I was ecstatic. I start eating quinoa, rice, salmon, soft noodles, over cooked veggies it felt so good to get on to solids. I also looked up recipes online for soft foods for jaw surgery patients and surprisingly there were a lot of resources. My favorite recipe so far is a crustless quiche. Basically spinach, eggs, and some seasonings. It is soft and yummy. Unfortunately food gets stuck in my splint and braces pretty easily and it is extremely annoying to rinse and get the food out. I try to limit my solid food intake but chewing is actually helping me heal even faster. I went to the Cheesecake Factory last night and had an entire meal – fried chicken fingers (cut up to tiny pieces and put blue cheese and hot sauce to make it softer), avocado egg rolls (cut up and put the sauce on top), and the miso salmon – rice and salmon were soft enough to eat. My first full meal in almost four weeks and it was incredible! I felt full for the first time since the surgery. I was so happy. (This is all happening while my splint is happily attached to my upper jaw.)

    This is to Jamie who had his surgery 8 wks and 6 days ago. I have a similar experience with yours in regards to issue #1. At 4 weeks I am still unable to feel my bottom lip and my entire chin. What is worst is that I am kind of looking like a stroke patient because the right side of my face is extremely weak, meaning that my lips on the right side will not close and I can’t even force close it went I try. The muscles simply do not work. My doctor said to not worry that that kind of thing comes back almost randomly over night. I am trying to practice whistling based on what Graham advised and doing what your doctor suggested and stretching out my bottom lip. Because I am unable to close the right side of my bottom lip and there is an opening I am still unable to use a straw as I cannot create suction. In addition to that because I am unable to feel my bottom lip and get my right side of my lip around a cup I am always spilling. It is getting very frustrating. I hope my muscle control comes back soon.

    I think I made it out of the surgery pretty well and have been fortunate. I am just ready to be completely healed and have all of my feeling and muscle control back.

  349. Graham October 9, 2012 at 6:51 am #

    David, you’re lucky that you were able to drink from a cup right away and bypassed the entire syringe party. Thanks for sharing your story and I truly hope you receive all of your feeling back. I know it can be stressful to be thinking about the possibility of being permanently numb. Cheers to a solid recovery, my friend!

  350. David Do October 9, 2012 at 9:19 am #

    Thanks Graham. I forgot to mention that your website helped me a lot and that it is a great resource for jaw surgery patients. I really appreciate your humorous and positive approach to the healing process. I know you have been traveling the world and already made it to DC but if you ever come back this CouchSurfer would love to host you. I will also be in China (Beijing, Tian, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Macau) for most of January let me know if our paths cross by chance.

  351. Shay October 10, 2012 at 12:54 am #

    Hello,
    I’m planning on having my surgery in 2 weeks. Depending on my surgeons schedule. I have a class 3 underbite,crossbite, and open bite. But I was wondering. . Did people notice you afterwards, like people you don’t normally hang out with. What was people reaction after your surgery when they noticed you with a new jaw ?

  352. Graham October 10, 2012 at 3:48 am #

    Hmmmm, perhaps I will have to take a flight over to Hong Kong to say hello. I’ll certainly be in that part of the world come January.

  353. Graham October 10, 2012 at 3:56 am #

    Shay, only people who knew me well—my family and close friends—noticed that my jaw was shaped a little differently. Acquaintances will think you look the same. (My situation was also unique because I maintained this blog, so my entire city knew I had tackled this operation.) The big thing people noticed was that I now smile a lot more.

  354. Thomas October 10, 2012 at 8:03 am #

    Just wondering… Did anyone notice that their teeth felt lose after the doctors removed the arch bars? Weirdest thing, my molars and bottom front teeth feel that they will come out if I put too much pressure on them.

  355. Graham October 10, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    Thomas, I recall my teeth feeling slightly loose around my splint was removed, but they tightened up after approximately one week. If you’re careful with what you eat and you chew slowly, you’ll be okay. =)

  356. Maureen Christensen October 11, 2012 at 8:29 am #

    Hello! I am trying to reach Krista who wrote on your board back in 2010. Her symptoms back then are exactly what mine where and I ended up getting trigeminal neuralgia from this surgery and very much would like to see if she experienced the same. it has drastically changed my life and I’m seeking help! Please contact me Krista or write back on the blog if you still get these emails updates. Thanks, Maureen

  357. Athra October 11, 2012 at 8:58 pm #

    I think it was jamie that wrote the right nostril was blocked i have the same problem with my right nostril u can even notice it wen i breathe and its been nearly 5 months from my double jaw surgery. I have an appt with a nose specialst dr nxt month.

  358. Jamie October 12, 2012 at 10:56 am #

    Athra, thanks for posting! It’s nice to hear from someone with the same problem — although I am obviously sorry you also have a blocked nostril. No fun! I just made an appointment with an ENT, too. Let me know how your visit goes, and I will do likewise.

  359. Jamie L October 13, 2012 at 12:09 am #

    Well it is 4 weeks today since my surgery and I went back to work yesterday. The infection has cleared up and it looks like I am on the road to recovery. I even had my first cheeseburger 2 days ago. Yes it took me about an hour to put two of them back but it sure was worth it. My appetite is definitely been increased. I still don’t have any feeling in my lower lip, chin and parts of the inside of my mouth. Hope that all comes back.

  360. Michael October 15, 2012 at 12:45 am #

    Double jaw, rinoplasty (i was born with a clef lip and palate), cheek implants (chose to go with them im happy so far with what i can tell.)

    Graham,

    I would mostly just like to get on here to thank you for your dedication to helping all these people and staying present. I am 9 days post op and thanks to your blog have come to know what to expect! My recovery has all been well, i started talking 2 days after and have talked as much as i normaly would since then (not well though :) ) i think this had helped significantly with my mouth as i dont take any pain meds through most of the day now started yesterday, my mouth can open a little larger than 2 fingers and i feel the numbness getting better everyday. The swelling is significantly down and i feel pretty good, we have had family friends and family over everyday so i think that helps (surround yourself with caring people you like). Anyway all my questions have been answered via your blog so i thank you again! I will certainly post again if i have any questions!

    Michael

  361. Graham October 15, 2012 at 2:24 am #

    Michael, I’m so happy to hear that you’ve found my story comforting and useful during your own recovery. I hope you continue to be positive over the next few months and that the surgery proves to be a huge success for you!

  362. Jamie October 18, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    A follow up on “Issue #2. I can’t breathe through my right nostril.”:

    Just back from the ENT. Looks like I have a severely deviated septum and need surgery to correct it. BOO! I am not a fan of another surgery, but this one will at least be out-patient and the recovery should be shorter. Just scheduled it for December 19.

    The theory for why this happened: My septum was probably deviated prior to surgery, but didn’t bother me. It may have been made worse by the intubation. It was almost certainly made worse by the fact that my surgeon removed a small bone from the bottom of my nose while adjusting my upper jaw.

    At least there’s a clear path to my being able to breathe clearly again…

  363. Graham October 18, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    I’m glad the doctors were able to pinpoint your breathing issue, Jamie. Another surgery is certainly a nuisance, but at least you’ll be back in tiptop shape after this one!

  364. Terry October 20, 2012 at 6:07 pm #

    Hi everyone, I am 44yes old and I am anticipating that I will be having my surgery in a few months. I am having my lower jaw moved forward and possibly my chin, the surgeon said they won’t be able to determine the chin surgery until they move the jaw. I have had my braces on just before last Easter, but I have had jaw problems since ’07. My surgeon said that I could go home the evening of my surgery, unless I wanted to stay in the hospital for the night…I am thinking my husband may want me to stay! LOL. I am planning on taking at least a month off from work, but since my husband works up north he may only be able to stay home with me for the first week. My kids are no longer living at home and I am wondering if it would be a good idea to have my mom fly out west, from back east, to stay with me for a coup,e of weeks. For those of you who have had the surgery, would you recommend having someone here with me after the first week or should I be ok here alone? The blog has been very informative and yet scary all at the same time!

  365. anastasia October 25, 2012 at 4:31 am #

    Hi I am also 44 and tomorrow will be 4 weeks since surgery, I had both jaws done and all went very well I do feel you should have some one with you at least for the first week maybe two , I had my splint removed 4 days ago and I seem to have a bit more swelling, can anyone tell me is this normal? I see doc again next week but i was just wondering? thank you for this blog it is so great:)

  366. David Do October 25, 2012 at 11:48 am #

    Day 43: Splint was removed by the orthodontist this morning. They put on a thick wire around my brackets so my arch would not collapse. Took an impression so that they can make an arch between my back molars. But get this the arch wire will not be ready until two weeks later! What if my arch collapses within that time frame?

  367. Graham October 26, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

    Terry, it sounds like you’ve thought everything through quite thoroughly, so you shouldn’t be in for too many surprises. You should be okay after the first week to take care of yourself. The most difficult trial you’ll face is that of feeling lonely and disconnected from the world at large, but you’ll be in much better shape by the third week. Just make sure you have enough soup, Ensure, and smoothy ingredients for that second week and all should be well! =)

  368. Graham October 26, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    Anastasia, it’s normal for swelling to increase for a few days following the removal of your splint. Since your jaw has a little more freedom now, you’ll be moving it more as a result, and swelling is sure to follow. It shouldn’t last for more than a week. =)

  369. Graham October 26, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    David, I wouldn’t worry about your arch losing its new shape. Since we’re not professionals here, I encourage you to trust your orthodontist’s judgement. If the situation is bothering you, give them a call and ask if there is anything else you can do to guarantee a safe couple of weeks. =)

  370. Chrissy November 2, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

    Im having my upper jaw widened and brought forward to correct my underbite. When you had your chin worked on, did they make it bigger or smaller?

  371. Chrissy November 2, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

    Also, did you lose a significant amount of weight? I’m hoping I don’t considering I only weigh 100 lbs

  372. Graham November 3, 2012 at 12:03 am #

    Chrissy, I honestly don’t even notice a difference in my chin. Since my upper palette was expanded, I imagine my chin was widened a little to support that, but nobody noticed any change in my chin.

    As for your bodyweight, you’ll only shed pounds if you’re above your natural weight to being with. I lost 30 lbs because I was intentionally gaining weight beforehand. If you’re already at your natural weight, you’ll likely only fluctuate a few pounds during recovery. So no worries, my friend!

  373. Chrissy November 3, 2012 at 8:11 am #

    I tried gaining weight but I never do no matter what I eat so I stopped trying….thanks for the information!

  374. Jamie November 3, 2012 at 9:24 am #

    I didn’t lose any weight following the surgery. I focused on protein, and think that might have been useful — both in terms of weight loss and in terms of feeling full. Protein and calcium are supposed to be important for bone growth, too. I drank lots of protein shakes and kiefer, and added additional protein powder to everything. I also supplemented a lot with fiber, starting a few days before the surgery.

    74 days post surgery today! My surgery is now rarely on my mind. It still feels a little strange to touch my chin, I’m still visibly swollen, and I can only open my mouth 2-1/2 fingers — but eating, sleeping, and talking all feel pretty normal. Yay! I assume the swelling, mouth opening, and numbness will continue to progress and be non-issues in another few months. I still worry that my lips don’t touch while at rest, and sadly I’ll need surgery in a month to correct a deviated septum that was aggravated by my jaw surgery.

  375. Suzie November 5, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

    Hi Graham
    Your blog is a life saver, thank-you, thank-you, thank-you! I am day 12 post double jaw surgery and wobbling, big time. Last week at my check up my surgeon mentioned he ‘hit a nerve’ during my op and that I may or may not get feeling back in my lower lip/chin area. I was gutted. It’s all I’ve focussed on for the past week. I am trying to be positive but it’s very hard. You mentioned you still have numbness in your chin. Would you say the whole thing was still worth it? Is it really something you can live with? I am also really struggling to come to terms with my reflection at the moment. I still look very “inflated” and not myself at all. Finding it really, really difficult at the moment. First few days were great, but it’s all hit home a bit and the last week has been very tough. I’d be so grateful to hear your thoughts, you’re such an inspiration. Thanks, Suzie (London)

  376. Graham November 6, 2012 at 2:58 am #

    Hi Suzie!

    It sounds like we’re going to be cousins as far as numb chins go. I can honestly say that it was still absolutely worthwhile. I actually don’t even noticed my lip or chin is numb any longer unless someone asks about it. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your body adjusts to having a lack of feeling in small areas.

    So be happy, my friend! The loss of feeling will not impact your life in any big way, I promise. =)

  377. Tony November 13, 2012 at 6:19 am #

    Hi Graham,

    Love the blog. I have upper and lower jaw surgery 3.5 weeks ago and I still cannot feel my chin, parts of my left cheek and bottom lip. I had the elastics removed after 11 days is that normal? I can’t open my mouth much which makes it very frustrating when eating. I was wondering what are splints?? My smile is not the best either

  378. Graham November 13, 2012 at 6:23 am #

    Tony, your feeling may take 2–3 months to return, so don’t fret after only 3.5 weeks. Your elastics were removed incredibly early, though, so I’m not sure why your surgeon has allowed that to happen. Usually, people stay in at least a few elastics until their braces come off.

    A splint is an appliance they put in the roof of your mouth to keep it wide (if they had to widen your upper palette). If you don’t have one, they probably didn’t have to widen your top jaw.

    And your smile will come back once the swelling is gone. Give it time, my friend, give it time. =)

  379. Tony November 13, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    Thanks Graham. My elastics actually came off 16 days after my operation. The orthodontist removed them. Perhaps I should calmly surgeon and ask is this correct? Is it the stitches that is not allowing me to manouver my mouth muscles and jaw? The swelling around my cheeks seems to be gone so is it just the swelling around my mouth that will take time?

  380. Graham November 13, 2012 at 11:22 pm #

    Tony, if your orthodontist removed the elastics, then perhaps they’ve thought it through and that conforms with your recovery plan. I was encouraged to wear my elastics until the day my braces came off, though. Just politely ask your surgeon if they agree with that decision. A second opinion is never a bad thing.

    As for your movement, the swelling is likely the reason that you feel so locked in place. Give it time and your movement will return over the next couple of months.

  381. estefania November 14, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

    OMG THANK YOU for your blog is really helpful.
    I’m on my day 5 afte surgery and still looking like a monters I’m so swollen…. :(
    I’m going to continue checking this awesome blog.

  382. Simon November 21, 2012 at 4:35 am #

    Ah, I love this timeline. I’m about 3.5 weeks post op now, but during my first week, this helped me through so much. I was scared I wouldn’t sleep properly for ages.

    I had both top n bottom jaw surgery, couldn’t breathe for the first 3 days (through my nose). It was horrible. Woke up every 3 he’s when I tried to sleep.

    But after the first week, slept full nights ever since.

    I also was able to talk 30 minutes after the surgery, and its only improved since.

    I had my first post op appointment with not surgeon at about 10 days, and she was so surprised at my recovery. At that stage, I had no swelling left and full feeling from my top lip up.
    She also accessed the feeling in my lower lip and chin and was surprised I could even feel some of it.

    After this appointment, I went straight back to work. I work 12 hour shifts, got pretty tired towards the 10 hr mark but my body seemed to take it okay.

    At the moment, I’m slowly moving onto mushy solids, but I don’t drool anymore, which I’m happy with.

    The only thing I’m really concerned about are my numb gums.
    Its probably the only thing stopping me from moving onto solid foods.

    Its unfortunate I still have to wear elastics the orthodontist put in, though.

    Anyway, to sum this all up… thank you for this blog. It helped me through my first week so much.

  383. Graham November 21, 2012 at 11:43 pm #

    Simon, it sounds like you’re recovering like a superhero! All of your victories have arrived so much sooner than they did for me. I’m happy to hear that speaking and sleeping comfortably only evaded you for one short week. Keep it up and hopefully your nerves start to wake up soon!

  384. Royford November 24, 2012 at 12:25 am #

    Thank you for sharing your experiences following surgery. I’ve recently had bimaxillary sugery on the 19th November 2012. I’ve found it really useful reading when i can’t sleep alot after the first week.The readers comments have helped me remain with a positive outlook for the recovery time ahead.

  385. NAncy November 25, 2012 at 7:53 am #

    Hi everyone. I also had a jaw surgery three and a half weeks ago and I enjoyed reading some of your messages. with my condition , I had my right jaw bone grow faster then my right and although ppl didn’t really notice it bothered me very much. Ppl say I don’t look like I had surgery but I see it on my cheeks, lips and chin. I can’t wait to finally feel those areas again and see the final result. Question? Is there anything I should do to help with the swelling? Also I healed quite fast because I went to work on the second week, and I’m a teacher!!! I know I’m crazy but I couldn’t stay home; was going crazy lol

  386. Graham November 25, 2012 at 10:49 am #

    Nancy, it sounds like you’re healing so quickly! The swelling is really just a time thing. You can place heat packs on your face at night and try to talk less, but that doesn’t really work well with you being a teacher, so it may just be something you need to let time take care of.

  387. lea-anne November 25, 2012 at 12:41 pm #

    hi ive just read through comments you guys are all so inspirational i hope im as brave as you all when i go in. I have an appointment for 23rd jan 2013 i think this is just to talk about things for the operation but unsure of when i actually go under. i am very nervous about pain but the surgeon keeps saying to me pain will not be a problem i will get plenty of pain relief but my question is when you all got the surgery were you in alot of pain?? or was it under control by pain killers? im soo scared lol

  388. Graham November 25, 2012 at 11:13 pm #

    Lea-anne, I can’t speak for anyone else, but I personally experienced little to no pain throughout the recovery. Since your mouth is numb immediately following the operation, you actually don’t even feel most of the pain. Your body will be tired because it’s healing, but you won’t be writhing in pain or anything. The only times I experienced any pain were when my jaw would spasm and try to open and when I would laugh really hard and my dry lips would split, but during the regular course of events, there honestly wasn’t too much pain.

  389. NAncy November 26, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

    Hi graham! I glad you responded. At times I get a little sad because I feel as though the numbness around my mouth will be permenant. It’s funny you say less talking because I notice that when I talk everything swells up more; why is that? Also should I stick to just liquids because I have tried eating and it seems as though that might prolong healing???

  390. NAncy November 26, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    Hi everyone. Ok it’s my fifth week this Thursday since my surgery and I’m already ready and hoping to see the final results. I have numbness and when I smile it looks strange; like my face is being pulled in all directions…;((

  391. Graham November 26, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    Hey Nancy! The reason you swell up when you speak a lot during the day is simply because you’re exercising your jaw muscles, thereby rebuilding them. It’s perfectly normal. Also, I encourage you to continue eating solid foods to build that strength back in your jaw. The quickest way to a full recovery is to exercise those muscles by whistling, eating solid foods, talking, and chewing gum. =)

  392. Tony November 29, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

    I was wondering when will all the swelling go down? I have returned to work this week and people say I look a bit swallen. Is this because they are not used to my new face? I had the surgery 40 days ago. Some people say my mouth looks smaller say say bigger. I’m confused :)

  393. Tony November 29, 2012 at 10:43 pm #

    @Royford
    I noticed you had the surgery the day before me. Has all your swelling gone? Whre do you think mot of the swelling still exists? Can yu feel your jaw and bottom lip? Any comments you’d like to add would be appreciative

  394. Graham November 30, 2012 at 12:38 am #

    Tony, it usually takes the full three months for swelling to dissipate completely. It will be a gradual process for the next month and a half, so patience is key.

  395. Ashley Little December 1, 2012 at 6:26 pm #

    Hey I had my surgery on Monday November.26th. I am at a very uncomfortable point in my recovery. I am still very swollen but it seems to have drifted mainly to my mouth and throat. I can barely open my mouth which makes it hard to breath especially since you all know my nose is plugged. Since the surgery my jaw is clenched 24/7 which I assume is due to swelling but it causing bad headaches. Did anyone take anything for swelling or headaches besides codeine? Also what the heck did you guys eat? Ensure is what I am living off of but there’s no nutrients, it’s corn syrup! Juice for some reason burns my throat and tongue. Any ideas??

  396. Jamie L December 1, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

    Hi Ashley….I wasn’t able to take codeine and my surgeon prescribed ‘Ketorolac”. Ask your doctor as this helped me. I took it every 6 hours 4 times a day. As far as what I ate and drank was Boost which I like better then Ensure. I ate a lot if scrambled eggs, I have a fruit and vegetable juicer so I used that alot plus I did a lot of different shakes. Yogurt was good too. I had my surgery back on Sept 14th and for the swelling I used a lot of ice packs. That really helped me out a lot. I just thought of another food that I ate was BBQ duck congee, oatmeal and lots of pasta. Anything soft. Be patient as everything gets better. The couple weeks was challenging plus I had an infection so that put me back an extra couple weeks. Think positive thoughts as things will work out for you. Good luck
    From Jamie L

  397. Tayla December 2, 2012 at 2:17 am #

    Hi Graham :)

    I am a week post op from having double jaw surgery. My top jaw was broken into 4 parts as that was necessary to correct my bite. However, I had jaw surgery due to being born with a cleft lip and palate! I would really just like to say that your blog has kept me sane for this week and has provided me with so much useful information that has helped my recovery! For anyone reading this a few days post op and feeling absolutely miserable, Graham is absolutely right, things get 100% better, my first few days were horrible with a lack of sleep and lack of motivation to keep going as I have already had so many surgeries but all I can say it keep your chin up high and realise that you are not going to regret this when you have an amazing new smile! I had times during my recovery where I was very down and regretted everything but through the help of friends and family, it is possible to get through it. If you have a healthy and happy attitude, believe it or not, this mind set tricks your body into thinking that you are a fast healer! I am a week post op and most of my swelling has already gone down and I am getting my splint removed in 2 weeks! THANKYOU so much Graham :) it was amazing that you took the time through everything to help people, your website honestly was my bible through all of this :)

    Tayla :)

  398. Tayla December 2, 2012 at 2:20 am #

    and also! applying ice and heat to your face everyday for 20 minutes 3 times a day makes a HUGE dfference, and if you are feeling up for it, try go for walks as this helps your circulation to work better, hence making the swelling going down fast! if you dont want anyone to see your mask like figure try going early in the morning, walks make you realise that everyday gets brighter and it puts your mind into a whole new perspective as well as helping the swelling go down dramatically!! Massaging the face also helps!!
    Thankyou again Graham and sorry to barge in with my information and tips just thought id share :)

  399. Ricky December 2, 2012 at 9:02 am #

    Hi Graham, I’ve been reading your blog since my surgery and its been a big encouragement. I’m day 4 post op after double jaw for and underbite and I have zero numbness anywhere. I can feel everything from my cheeks, nose, lips, inside my mouth and out, my chin, neck, everything. Apparently I got lucky on the nerve damage aspect. The only bad thing is my face feels like its about to pop with all the swelling. How did you force all the ensure down during this time? I feel so weak cuz I’m a skinny guy as it is. I’ve been trying to force 1000 calories and 1000 mL of water a day like you did and I’m still alive, just miserable.

  400. Christina December 2, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    Hi Graham,

    I really enjoy your blog! Thank you so much for posting your journey.

    I’m a Canadian university student as well and I’m getting a double jaw surgery in May. Unfortunately, I have four classes take in the summer session (May-August). From your experience, at what time post-surgery is it possible to go to classes and study? After the 2nd or 3rd week?

  401. Graham December 2, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

    Tayla, I’m so happy all my silly stories and random writing provided some comfort and encouragement for you! I found the most difficult part of the recovery was mental, not physical. It’s incredible what positive thinking can do, hey? =)

  402. Graham December 2, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    Ricky, that’s pretty amazing that you already have all of your feeling back. You must have an incredibly talented surgeon (or incredibly robust nerves, haha).

    As for the swelling, I know exactly what you mean. The only wisdom I can share with you is to have patience. Eating and drinking were actually a chore for those first couple of weeks until the swelling began to dissipate. I wasn’t able to eat enough calories or drink enough water for about the first week because I was simply too exhausted. However, life will get easier for you very soon. Honestly, within a few more days, your swelling will start to decrease quite quickly and you’ll be able to drink fluids with no trouble at all.

    Patience, my friend! Patience, patience, patience! =)

  403. Graham December 2, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

    Christina, I felt capable of studying (or, more appropriately, focusing) after about 2.5 weeks. However, I couldn’t speak clearly until approximately 5 weeks had passed by. You’ll probably be unable to go to class for the first 2–3 weeks, though, so if you think you can play major catchup after that, you should be okay.

  404. Ricky December 2, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

    Thank you for the reply Graham, you have no clue how encouraging this whole website has been to me. I go to the surgeon in two days, hopefully he may give some good news. He didn’t wire me shut but the bands are so tight I cannot open my mouth AT ALL, my teeth are basically locked together. Since my bite was so bad the surgeon was afraid my jaw would relapse back to an underbite because of the pressure from all the swelling so he made my bands super tight while my swelling goes down and the bones heal. Once again, thank you so much and I’ll definitely post a finishe product once this is all over with.

  405. Justin December 3, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

    I had no idea there was a community of people out there going through this same surgery. Good work Graham. I’m 7 days out post opp. Feel great. I’ve actually been able to go totally drug free. I didn’t want to deal with the constipation, head aches, and inability to do for myself. I’ve been lucky enough to be fairly pain free. there has been some discomfort for sure but nothing that cant be tempered with some ice.

  406. Graham December 4, 2012 at 12:15 am #

    Justin, we’re glad you found us! Also happy to hear you’re already a week out. If you’re finding the recovery easy already, the rest of this trip will be no trouble at all for you.

    p.s. I checked out your art portfolio—nice work!

  407. Steven December 4, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

    I am so glad I found your blog. This blog is seriously relieving me of any worries I might encounter on my surgery. My surgery is in 6 days and I’m trying to figure out everything I can before I go in. Is there any other suggestions you might recommend for people going into and the first few struggling days after?

  408. Graham December 6, 2012 at 7:19 am #

    Steven, glad to have you on board! My only suggestions are to make sure you’ve got a healthy supply of Ensure and smoothie ingredients for those first few days post-op. Don’t fret about the operation, though. You’ll emerge on the other side with a smile on your face. =)

  409. Ricky December 6, 2012 at 9:47 pm #

    Hey Graham I’ve got another question. Have you had any problems with any relapse of your jaw? My surgeon usually puts in slightly less tight bands in at my next appointment. I’ve had such big movements of my jaw during surgery, my underbite was huge (like a whole centimeter or more further out than the top jaw). He said the more he moves the jaw, the bigger chance of relapse. I oped to just be banded tightly shut for 6 weeks instead of gradually loosened throught those 6 weeks out of fear of relapse. Now, after just over a week, I’m wondering if I’m just being paranoid or if my being banded tight for 6 weeks versus the usual protocol after BSSO and LeForte 1 will even make a difference. I don’t wanna have to go through this surgery again lol

  410. Graham December 7, 2012 at 8:57 am #

    Ricky, I was warned about relapse of my jaw as well, but it didn’t turn out to be an issue for me. The human body will want to revert to its natural state following any operation, so doctors and surgeons must be careful not to perform surgeries which are too extreme. I was banded 24/7 for 9 months following surgery (including the 3-month recovery period). If you wear your bands accordingly, you shouldn’t have any problem with relapse.

  411. Terry December 7, 2012 at 10:23 pm #

    Well I have my surgery date scheduled for Feb.22/13. My husband has to go back up north for work 5 days after surgery and then I will be home alone with two dogs. I’m just wondering if I should fly my mom out west ( she lives in Nova Scitia) or if I would be ok on y own?

  412. Graham December 8, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    Terry, you should be alright on your own after 5 days. You’ll be frustrated (and potentially lonely), but if you find some good television shows to watch and take those trusty dogs for a walk a few times each day, I think you’ll make it through just fine. =)

  413. Rachel December 8, 2012 at 11:24 pm #

    I had posted a few comments earlier this summer, back when I thought that I’d be having surgery in August. Unfortunately, when I went to donate blood on my own behalf (I did ultimately need to receive my own blood during my double jaw/ septoplasty last week), my iron was very low. That threw me into a side- story whirlwind of fun, including 5 weeks of iron IV treatments administered in a room at the hematologist/ oncologist office. (I keep remembering the faces of the chemo patients I spent time with there, and that makes me glad I’m alive an on the recovery road!). Next, just to be sure, I was subjected to a colonoscopy, endoscopy, and biopsy – nope, no gastric issues. More tests, more bloodwork, and finally I was able to donate blood and schedule surgery again.

    I’m 31 and have been waiting to have this since I was 16, so after all the unexpected delays this fal, I couldn’t really and truly believe that surgery would actually happen – the numbness, tingling, and aching in my face assure me that it did. Oh yeah, and the drool. :)

    Anyway, now that the first 9 days of recovery are complete, I finally have the focus to leave a comment. I already have read this blog forward and backward, but now I check each morning to see what Graham’s words of wisdom might be for the day ahead. Invaluable!!! :). Thanks so much for your humorous, thorough log of your recovery, and for sharing it with us!!

    My jaw is completely wired shut right now, but I cannot wait to eat, smile, and talk normally again in the near future! :):)

    Time for some more food dreams – I’ve been eating quite a lot in my dreams lately, for some odd reason….;)

  414. Graham December 10, 2012 at 9:18 am #

    Hi Rachel!

    I can’t help but smile when I hear stories like your own. It’s usually a very rocky path towards having the surgery performed and it sounds like you encountered nearly every obstacle possible.

    I’m happy to hear that the operation itself is now behind you and you’re on your way to a brand new smile! I wish you all the best over the next few months and pray that you find the energy and drive to get through it with no issues. =)

  415. Claudia December 12, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

    Graham

    As a parent of a three-day out upper and lower, splint, rubber bands, etc. young woman, this blog has been such a help. I hope I can get my daughter to read it and know that she has a lot of company — who knew — certainly not I. I am now more encouraged and taking to heart everyone’s experiences and hope this will help me help my daughter through some rough times.

    Thanks Graham and everyone who has and will comment.

  416. Graham December 12, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

    Claudia, I hope your daughter is managing to find something to smile about each day during this initial part of her recovery. Send her my warmest wishes!

  417. Elizabeth December 13, 2012 at 8:42 pm #

    Wow, this is an amazing site. I just had double jaw surgery as well as chin surgery on November 22nd, 2012. Today is the 3 week mark. As everyone else is saying, the first two weeks were horrendous! But everyday is getting a little bit better. I’m still eating with pureed food and not chewing at all. I can’t wait till I can start eating soft food, I thought it’d be at the two week mark but apparently not.
    It’s really nice to read so many thoughts from others who know whats it feels like to go through this. It definitely helps me keep going since sometimes I feel like the numbness and swelling is never going to go away.
    Thanks for all the info!

  418. Graham December 16, 2012 at 4:45 am #

    Elizabeth, being confined to a liquid diet is incredibly frustrating, isn’t it? Just know that many of us have been through this same battle and it does get better. Looking forward to you arriving at the other side of it! =)

  419. Krystyna December 18, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

    Hi Graham! I just had my double jaw surgery on December 11th for my over bite. It’s been a week and I feel like I’m recovering quickly. The first few days were definitely the worst. I had a lot of trouble breathing, but I took hot showers and the blood came out from there. I also use Saline Nasal Mist. Now my nose is completely cleared. I also have no pain what so ever. I get tingling in my chin but that’s all. My swelling has went down a lot but now I have bruises on my neck. When do those go away? Also I have a lot of trouble sleeping at night. Is there anything that can help with that? One more question. Did anyone find that their hair was falling out? I have really long hair and everytime I run my fingers through it, I get a hand full of hair. I’m scared I’m going to lose my hair. Thanks :) this blog makes me a lot more positive about the process.

  420. Graham December 18, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

    Hi Krystyna! Welcome to week two of your recovery.

    I, personally, did not experience any bruising, but others have told me that it usually last for 2–4 weeks, depending on your skin. It will go away fairly soon, though.

    As for sleeping, there’s honestly no quick fix for this. Heat packs will help relax your face, but at the end of the day, you may have difficulty sleeping for another week or so. You should be resting through the night without any issues by the third week, though!

    I haven’t met anyone who has lost hair as a result of the surgery yet. Are you stressed out about your recovery, by chance? I’ve heard stress can have odd effects on the body, such as hair loss, random sickness, and so on. Maybe try going for a walk, listening to music you enjoy, or busying yourself with books and television to take your mind off of the moment-to-moment recovery and see if that helps. =)

  421. Jamie December 19, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

    Quick update on the October 5 Issue #2 I posted about: Just had surgery this morning to correct a deviated septum that was exacerbated by the jaw surgery and caused me trouble breathing. The surgery was unpleasant, but recovery is clearly going to be SO MUCH faster and easier than the jaw surgery recovery. Glad to have it over with, and despite the blood and snot I can already breathe through my right nostril better than I have been able to for months! Yay.

    Should know more about Issue #1 after I get my braces off in May. But at least I can use a straw now.

  422. Graham December 20, 2012 at 10:40 pm #

    Jamie, I’m happy to hear that you can breathe again! Followup surgeries are never fun, but at least they are making your life a little more pleasant each time. Have a very merry Christmas!

  423. Steven December 27, 2012 at 10:47 pm #

    Phew, what a ride. I’m on day 17 and just had my second follow-up appointment. I must say I’m quite happy that I can open my mouth and got my elastic bands. But what I’m most excited about is that my splint is removed! I feel extremely lucky! My surgeon says I’m better off without the splint. But even though it’s off and I got the ok to eat soft foods, it’s really really frustrating. It’s so hard to try to chew and you can only open your mouth so much. But hey, at least it’s a drastic improvement from previous weeks. Oh yeah, and brushing your teeth is definitely a bonus. How was it for you Graham when you were able to eat soft foods? Was it hard at first? My surgeon says after about a week I should be able to chew soft foods fairly well but I just can’t wait! I still feel like I’m on a liquid diet :/

  424. Graham December 28, 2012 at 3:45 am #

    Steven, you’re so lucky that you’re already splint-free! I found it quite strenuous to eat soft foods at first, but the strength in your jaw comes back quickly. Start with pasta and soup and you’ll quickly graduate to other foods from there. Enjoy your rediscovered fresh breath!

  425. justpartofthecrowd January 4, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

    Hi,

    Even though I’ve had a slightly different surgery ( emergency broken jaw ) reading through the comments on this site has been helpful.

    I’ve had surgery for 2 breaks of my lower jaw, and it’s now 7 days after surgery. The biggest problem I have is that the numbness of the lip and chin went away quickly on the right hand side of the mouth, but not the left… So now when I talk or attempt smile, my mouth is completely offsided, to the point where scare myself in the mirror…

    wondering whether anyone reading this blog had this experience? I know the break was worse on one side of the jaw than the other…

  426. Graham January 5, 2013 at 12:00 am #

    Ralph, your speech and smile will be back in order once the rest of your numbness goes away (obviously). My lack of feeling was fairly consistent, so I can’t relate to your case, but I assure you that it will go away. I don’t think there’s anything you can do to help speed up the process, though. Much of your feeling should return over the next two weeks, so you shouldn’t have to deal with it for too much longer.

  427. Lucy January 6, 2013 at 8:02 am #

    I had jaw surgery about 3 weeks ago now (but only on my top jaw) and I’ve also found that feeling came back much quicker on one side of my face than on the other, so it’s nothing to worry about! It’s all come back now, although my smile’s still a little bit lopsided – I can only assume this is because the muscles on one side got used to moving more, as the feeling came back quicker there, and they’re also still getting used to my jaw’s new position. Like you, I think I had more work done on one side than the other.

    Did anyone find that their teeth started drifting back to their original position after getting the elastics off? (My elastics were on my front teeth, if that’s relevant?) I’m not sure if I’m just being paranoid or if I should go back and ask for the elastics to be put back on!

    Graham, thank-you so much for this site! It’s been so nice to know that I’m not the only one going through all this!

  428. ralph January 6, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    Graham, Lucy, thanks for your comments. This is a great site for this information…

    As of today I can open my mouth wide enough to see inside the teeth, and the right hand side back teeth are about half centimetre apart! I remember when I woke up from the surgery and I was still under anaesthetic I said it doesn’t line up, but the nurses said “don’t worry, this is normal”. It’s now 9 days since surgery, and I’ve checked the post surgery x-rays and sure enough, one side of the jaw is lower than the other.

    I had the surgery in Portugal as they didn’t want me to fly, and am now back in London, and hopefully will see a maxillofacial specialist this week. I am hoping for some small miracle but can’t see how the shape of the bone would change given that I have titanium plates holding it together…

  429. Chris UK January 6, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

    Hi great forum … It’s awesome that your taking the time to help everyOne … I’m currently beginning my journey and the surgeon told me I need my upper jaw moving forward my lower jaw moving back and a segment removing from the left side of my lower jaw to correct it being too long…I’m 27 and reading all the comments it seems to take a long time to recover … Is it worth it? I get very bad headaches from poorly aligned bite so I have no idea what to do lol

  430. Graham January 6, 2013 at 10:55 pm #

    Lucy, great to meet you! To answer your question, I personally wore my elastics until the day I had my braces removed and then I jumped straight into a retainer. I still wear my retainer nearly every night because I don’t want my teeth to drift.

    If it’s bothering you, I advise you to stop by your orthodontist’s office and simply ask. There is certainly a risk of your teeth drifting back to their old position if they’re not retained for long enough, so I’d ask the professionals. Good luck!

  431. Graham January 6, 2013 at 10:59 pm #

    Ralph, I was also left with an open bite following my operation. I honestly wouldn’t worry about it because your teeth will naturally grow back together. Teeth grow until they meet opposition (ie. your other jaw), so they’ll come together naturally. My bite took quite a while to close, but I got used to it in mere months and it stopped bothering me. You’ll end up with a very usable bite, I promise!

  432. Graham January 6, 2013 at 11:01 pm #

    Chris, I honestly recommend this surgery. The recovery takes a few months, yes, but you’re young and still have a lifetime ahead of you to enjoy the benefits. You’re really exchanging just a season of recovery for a lifetime of enjoyment, so I believe it is very worthwhile (and I think most others would agree). Continue with your consultations and see how you feel, but I think it’s the right choice if it’s going to cure your headaches and provide you with a more effective bite for years to come. =)

  433. Teresa January 7, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    Hey Graham, doing research for my upcoming surgery I stumbled on your site, thanks so much for all this great information it really has answered alot of my questions! I have my pre op tomorrow and my surgery scheduled for 1/14/13. I’ve taken 3 weeks off work (I’m a bartender) was hoping to be back by then. How realistic do you think this is in your experience? I’m also having double jaw surgery.
    Thanks,
    Teresa

  434. Graham January 7, 2013 at 9:07 pm #

    Teresa, you’ll be able to do the essentials of your job within 3 weeks, but you’ll still have difficulty speaking with your customers. I would let your boss know that you might need one more week off depending on how quickly your speech recovers. I generally recommend a 4-week hiatus for people who are required to talk to customers in their jobs. Best of luck! =)

  435. ralph January 9, 2013 at 6:47 am #

    Graham, thanks for your comments. This is such a great site.

    Unfortunately for my case, I’ve been rescheduled for another surgery, this time in London. I don’t want to crap on the Portugese health system, because there are bad surgeons everywhere… in this case, the London based surgeon took a number of scans of my jaw and said that
    a) he was upset at looking at the results
    b) the surgeon in Portugal did not use wires to put my bite together before securing the titanium plates. He said that the surgeon would have put the jaw together simply while holding it in his hands.

    So I am going to have to have the surgery again. I guess the plus is that I will be in familiar surroundings, with a lot more friends around, so recovery will be better from this point of view.

    Even though this is a double jaw surgery site, and mine was an emergency lower mandible, the amount of comments on this site was one my most useful reads during this time.

  436. Graham January 10, 2013 at 5:21 am #

    Ralph, that makes me sad that you must undergo the operation a second time. I do hope that everything is rebuilt as it should be this time around. I guess that, when it comes to surgeries as invasive as this, perhaps cutting corners cost-wise doesn’t always work out for the best. Stay strong and good luck on round two!

  437. Teresa January 11, 2013 at 12:51 am #

    Thanks for the reply Graham, great job again on this site. Very informative.

  438. Dan AUS January 18, 2013 at 5:28 am #

    Graham, I find it unbelievable that you are still replying and helping people out so long after your own surgery. I just wanted to thank you for all your hard work and for your amazing attitude throughout the years. I have one more week until my surgery and all the effort you’ve put in here has really put my mind at ease about many things.

    Cheers, mate!

  439. Graham January 18, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

    Dan, good luck with your operation next week! Buy lots of soup and meal supplements to tie you over, my friend!

  440. Steven January 20, 2013 at 4:34 am #

    Made it to Day 41. It’s been a loooooong ride but I’m so glad I’m starting to learn to chew. I’ve been eating French Fries, Chocolate, Popcorn, etc. It feels so great. But I do have a concern though. My gums and teeth feel entirely stiff. It feels so awkward to try to chew. Did that happen to you, Graham? How long did it take for all the feeling in the gums to come back?

  441. Mike January 20, 2013 at 10:02 am #

    Hi. I had surgery on December 27 and had a splint and my mouth wired for 3 and a half weeks. This morning the surgeon removed the wires and splint and put 4 – 5 elastic bands from the front teeth over to the right side. He said that I could eat soft foods. I tried to eat macaroni and cheese and while I was eating every one of the bands snapped off. He didn’t give me spares or tell me what to do if they snapped off. Has anyone else ever had this problem.

    Also, I have a similar problem to Jamie who had an issue with her lips not touching. This really worries me because I surf and I need to be able to close my mouth. Right now my lips can’t close. Jamie, if you are still reading posts, can you tell me if you can close your mouth yet? My doctor didn’t say anything about lip exercises.

  442. Kirsty January 20, 2013 at 10:07 am #

    Hi guys :) just read the recovery timeline and its nice to know what I’m in for. I’m due double jaw surgery in a few months and wasn’t quite sure how long the total recovery would take. I’m quite nervous and excited. I’ve always hated my profile and my bite and il be overjoyed when I get the surgery :) thank you to everyone who has commented on this and gave me an insight into the recovery. It’s nice to know I’m not alone :)

    Kirsty

  443. nicole January 20, 2013 at 8:10 pm #

    How long after double jaw surgery will i be able to return to the gym to commence weight training?

  444. Bader January 21, 2013 at 11:45 am #

    Hi graham

    I have some questions i need to ask:
    1- will airplane pressure increase swelling?
    2- is it normal if swelling is decreased then increased again?
    3- is there any type of food\drink could increase the swelling?
    4- why is the numb feeling goes and get back?
    5- why there is a burn feeling on my tongue ?

    Please answer them if possible, im in day 5 but those questions made me confused cause none spoke about them and my doc did not mention them.

    My guessings are:
    1-swelling increased cause i was trying to talk too much…
    2- tongue burn cause m using Rinsidin 10 times aday in order to chill the pain abit.

    Im really tired, sometimes i say it is better if i havent done it..

    I miss my food, sleeping, playing, gym, sport
    And everything of course without any pain.

  445. Jamie January 22, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

    Mike – I saw my orthodontist today and he said everything is fine. He said a lot of things shift and that one side of your mouth is stronger than the other. Try using a straw by putting it between your teeth and sucking it that way; also try whisling and smiling even though you might look like a Who from The Grinch. :) Good luck…I am confident that what you are facing is 100% normal. I am the most impatient person known to man and this process seems like it’s taking FOREVER (it’s only been 4 weeks!)

  446. Michelle January 22, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

    Wow! This is an amazing and extremely helpful timeline Graham. Thanks for much for keeping in touch with us who have yet to have surgery. I’ll be going in for double jaw surgery next month and I honestly can’t wait. The only thing I’m concerned about is not being able to lift weights at the gym for a long while. According to my surgeon, I’ll need a green light from him before I get back into my weekly workout routine. I’m pretty much ready for everything else that’s going to happen, but being away from the gym and not being able to continue to build muscle just frightens me.

  447. Terry January 22, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

    Surgery date is set for Feb.22nd for lower jaw surgery. I was suppose to have an assisted orthodontic procedure done in the surgeons office tomorrow to widen my palate by 2mm. It was cancelled after my surgeon and orthodontist decided that not only does the upper jaw have to be widened but also turned. Has this happened to anyone else? I am meeting the surgeon tomorrow and I have a feeling that he might have to break the upper jaw now too!

  448. Jamie January 22, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

    Terry,

    The same exact thing happened to me. I was supposed to have surgery back in August but both my surgeon and ortho decided to hold off and do both at a later date. Honestly, if they say you need to do both, just do it. This process has not been delightful by any means but in the grand scheme of things, all of this has to be worth it.

  449. Terry January 23, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    Thanks Jamie. I met with the surgeon this morning. He does want to do the upper jaw now as the right side is 3mm lower then the left. I’m hoping to keep the same date, as my schedule at work has been set and my mom has plane tickets booked to come stay with me. The surgeon is not sure as the date as he is doing someone else’s jaw that day also and he is not sure of the OR times. If he still has to widen the palate it may be a few more months if the orthodontist has to move my teeth in order for the surgeon to be able to cut the upper bone. Jamie have you got a date set yet for your surgery?

  450. Jamie January 23, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

    No problem Terry…I have already undergone the surgery. I had it on Dec 21st. I am about 4 and a halfs week into my recovery. Like you, my orthodonist also had to widen my palate but the surgeon ended up breaking it in 3 places to widen it more, along with breaking my lower jaw to move it back so I would no longer have an underbite.

  451. Teresa January 25, 2013 at 5:21 am #

    Hey Graham,
    Just an update, I’m on day 11 post op. alls goin well! A lot of the swelling has gone! And feeling is coming back slowly in my chin and lips. I ended up having double jaw surgery, deviated septum and sliding genioplasty. Saw orthodontist yesterday, told me to expect to be on full liquid diet for another 4-6 weeks. I better start gettin creative with my recipes!
    Again, thank you for your updates and I cannot believe you were able to do this so consistently throughout your surgery!
    Teresa.

  452. Graham January 25, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

    Steven, it’s perfectly normal for your gums and teeth to feel stiff and slightly numb at your stage of recovery. Give yourself another month and chewing should feel much more natural.

  453. Graham January 25, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

    Mike, if your bands snap off, you can simply replace them yourself. Your surgeon or orthodontist should provide you with heaps of extras in case this happens. Just give them a call and ask for a few packs of elastics, along with a quick tutorial showing you how to put them in yourself.

    As for your lips not touching, give them another month or so for the swelling to go down. Once the swelling dissipates, you should be able to close your mouth with no trouble. =)

  454. Graham January 25, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    Kirsty, good luck with your surgery in a few months! I know you’ll appreciate your new bite and smile when all is said and done! =)

  455. Graham January 25, 2013 at 8:34 pm #

    Nicole, you should probably take 6–8 weeks off of weight training to be perfectly safe. Let your energy be your guide, though. Start lighter and work your way back to the level you lifted at before surgery.

  456. Graham January 25, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

    Hi Bader.

    1) I would advise against flying for the first month at least. I imagine the increased pressure will be slightly painful and may increase your swelling temporarily.

    2) Variable swelling is completely normal. Your swelling will increase the more you talk and chew in a given day.

    3) No specific type of food or drink should affect your swelling.

    4) I’m not sure why your lack of feeling jumps around. It’s likely related to the swelling going up and down.

    5) Your tongue is likely a bit raw from the surgery. This will go away over the next week or two.

    All the best with the next few weeks of recovery!

  457. Graham January 25, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

    Michelle, I’m a gym nut like yourself (although, by the looks of your YouTube channel, to a lesser extent, haha), and I was able to return to the gym after approximately 5 weeks. You’ll lose a little bit of muscle, but you’ll be able to build it back quickly as long as your disciplined. Good luck with the surgery next month!

  458. Graham January 25, 2013 at 9:48 pm #

    Teresa, glad to hear you’re recovering so quickly! I can’t believe you’re noticing such a huge decrease in swelling before even two weeks have passed by. Stay happy and enjoy the advances each day brings. =)

  459. Terry January 29, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

    Well I found out today that the surgeon is moving my surgery date from Feb.22nd to May 17th and I am now having double jaw surgery instead of just the lower jaw. I’m disappointed I have to wait but I’m sure it will all work out…just more time to be anxious!

  460. Joe January 30, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

    Graham,

    I anticipate on being back on here in a couple months closer to the time of my surgery, anyhow…

    My surgery, both upper and lower, is scheduled for May 10. I am a junior in college and I have been hearing from employers about internships for this summer. I know that I will be out of commission for a while (especially after reading this timeline and numerous posts on this thread), but I don’t know what to tell them as far as when I’d be able to start working.

    These are accounting jobs, so I don’t see that as something too strenuous on my face. When do you think I would be able to start working, if at all?

    Also, on a less important matter, my 21st birthday is June 16. Any shot (pun) in the world I’d be able to go out and celebrate???

    Thanks! Your board has been so helpful and I really appreciate it.

    – Joe

  461. Graham January 30, 2013 at 9:58 pm #

    Isn’t that frustrating when your date gets moved into the future, Terry? More anticipation, I guess!

  462. Graham January 30, 2013 at 10:03 pm #

    Joe, when it comes to your internships, I would give yourself a full 4 weeks of recovery before taking one on. Since you’ll be new, you’ll have to talk quite a lot to get yourself settled in your new job, and speaking doesn’t come easy until about a month has passed.

    As for your birthday, you’ll be able to get together with friends, but I doubt you’ll last very long. You’ll also want to be careful not to get any infections from alcohol seeing as you may still have exposed wounds in your mouth. It might have to be a dry birthday, mate!

  463. Terry January 30, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

    It’s very disappointing. Instead of three more weeks its now three months! Oh well, not much I can do but I have lots of time to get everything at work and home ready.

  464. Elizabeth January 31, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    Hi Graham,

    It’s been 10 weeks since my double jaw surgery and chin surgery, and I can only open my mouth to fit two fingers in. I was wondering if it’s normal that I can’t open my mouth very wide?
    Thanks for all the help and information!

  465. Graham January 31, 2013 at 9:19 pm #

    Elizabeth, that’s still a fairly normal occurrence at 10 weeks post-op. It will take repeated chewing and speaking to stretch out the muscles around your jaw again. A few things you can do to help the process is practice whistling (breaks up scar tissue in your face) and chew gum all day long (constantly stretches your jaw muscles). That movement will return soon! =)

  466. Jamie February 1, 2013 at 11:57 am #

    Graham,

    Hit my 6 week mark today…and patience is wearing too thin for words. I’ve got the ‘freezing cold pins and needles’ feeling and some major itching in my face but still no solid feeling. Please tell me the end is near? I am driving myself emotionally batshit crazy not being able to smile like a normal human and not being able to tell if there is food on lips or drool on my chin. Ugh!

  467. Teresa February 5, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

    Hi Graham and everybody else goin through this! I’m 3 weeks post surgery now. I have a quick question I’m not having much pain anymore ( headache now and again) but I still have trouble sleeping. I’m still sitting up in bed propped with pillows every night as everytime I try to lay down I get earaches. Wondering if anyone else has had anything like this? I was kinda hoping after 3 weeks i would be sleepin through the night normally?
    Thanks,
    Teresa.

  468. Graham February 6, 2013 at 9:24 am #

    Jamie, the end is near, my friend! You should hit a point soon where life quickly shifts back to normal. All of a sudden, you’ll be able to smile, drink without worry, and feel your face again. Keep in mind that you’re only halfway through the recovery, so stay strong for a few more weeks and you’ll be in good shape! =)

  469. Graham February 6, 2013 at 9:56 am #

    Teresa, I can’t recall when I was finally able to sleep through the night, but I think it was shortly after the one-month mark. The only thing I found that helped with sleeping prior to that moment was laying a heat pack on my face to sooth the swelling. I think it’s still a time game for you at this point. If you’re still having trouble sleeping in another week or so, I’d ask your surgeon if they have any tips for you. Best of luck!

  470. lea-anne February 7, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

    hey graham just thought id say i got my op date 25th feb :D i am super anxious its all very real now lol i think as everyone on here has very different versions of recovery its making me slightly nervous but no turning back now i am super excited to see the new face and with some luck lose this weight i was advised to try put on lol not long now :D

  471. Graham February 8, 2013 at 9:52 am #

    That’s great to hear, Leanne! Enjoy these precious next few weeks and I wish you all the best during your first week of recovery. Make sure you’ve got someone around to keep you sane! =)

  472. Wayne February 8, 2013 at 9:28 pm #

    Leanne, I’m scheduled for the 21st of Feb. So I guess we will be in this together

  473. lea-anne February 10, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    wayne im glad i will have someone to compare swelling with haha my husband is unfortunately working away that week so i have to rely on my mother and my kids to help lol never thought id be wishing the weeks away but roll on april when its a few months after the op haha :~)

  474. Jaydien February 12, 2013 at 9:54 am #

    Hey, I have left a message on here before somewhere although a that point I didn’t have a date for my op, in December I then got a date for the 12th April, I then went to the orthodontist last week and been told its now the 1st march so in 2 1/2 weeks I will be having my surgery and I am sooo scared !! Before excited now I am just scare what I will look like how long it will take me to recover and everything, it’s all getting close and scary !!

  475. lea-anne February 12, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    hi graham i was at the clinic today to get my measurements done all went well eventually they have decided i need quite alot done for maximum effect they are going to bring my top jaw forward my bottom jaw back my cheek bones and eye sockets forward my nose needs to be broke n moved and the back of the nose needs shaved !!! i must admit after hearing all this i have mixed emotions please tell me ill be ok lol but after all this he showed me a reconstruction of what my face should look like after suregery and i became very emotional its gonna look great no pain no gain as they say :D

  476. Graham February 13, 2013 at 3:14 am #

    Jaydien, having a surgery date is a big win, my friend. That means that you’ll be living live with your new bite and smile as early as June of this year! Enjoy these next couple of weeks and think positively—it makes a world of difference!

  477. Graham February 13, 2013 at 3:19 am #

    Lea-anne, my surgery was similar to what you described, what with moving both jaws and adjusting my nose. I can assure you that you will come out on the other side in good form, but the first month or so will be difficult (read: frustrating) because of the swelling and the fact that you’ll need to mentally adjust to the new shape of your face. Full steam ahead, my friend, it will be worth it! =)

  478. Marie Z February 14, 2013 at 8:36 pm #

    95 days to go until this page becomes my bible. As much as Im currently resenting knowing it Will take more than about a work or something equally ridiculously shortto recover its good to finally have a clear outline of expectations to go by! Thankyou! dentists seem to never want to give specifics…

  479. Marie Z February 14, 2013 at 8:44 pm #

    Btw any tips for the run up to surgery?
    And can i say.. I have the exact same problem as you did – your reasons page is like an exercise in mind reading!

  480. Graham February 15, 2013 at 5:13 am #

    Marie, dentists are kings of ballpark figures, aren’t they? I suppose that since every person heals differently, they can’t really promise anything too specific in terms of recovery. As for the days approaching surgery, just make sure you have some meal supplement drinks, soups, smoothie ingredients, and television series ready for consumption. Enjoy the next three months!

  481. lea-anne February 22, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

    :( just found out my surgery is cancelled i feel like crying i kinda got into a zone about the surgery my wafer splint was 1mm out of measurement i cant believe it they dont think it will be until may now !! wayne i hope all went well for you

  482. Teresa February 22, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

    Hey graham, so I’ll be 6 weeks post op on Monday! Things are goin nicely. Started eating soft mushy foods, not quite chewing yet, but soon I hope! I do have a quick question or you, what kind of stretches did you do for your jaw, at this point I cn only get one finger in there? I see the the surgeon next week.
    Thanks as always!
    Teresa.

  483. Terry February 22, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

    Lea-Anne, I was suppose to have my surgery today and they changed it to May 16th three weeks ago. I was only suppose to have my lower jaw moved forward and possibly my chin, but last month the orthodontist and surgeon decided that my upper jaw has to be twisted so the surgeon will be breaking the upper jaw also. Like you I was in the zone and ready to go. I am a supervisor in a lab department so I had all my schedules done, vacations approved early and my mom had airline tickets booked to come to BC from Nova Scotia ( my husband has to leave 5days after surgery to go back up north to work). Needless to say I was disappointed but we got my moms plane tickets changed and at least there should be better weather come May for her to enjoy. I will lose it if they change it again!

  484. lea-anne February 23, 2013 at 3:36 am #

    aww terry that sucks i mean i arranged childcare and my hubby working up north and he changed shifts but he can swap them back again no fanancial loss but that sounds like a huge loss on your behalf if it gets cancelled again thats what im dreading it being cancelled again its very disapointing but i suppose everything needs to be precise maybe our surgery times will be around the same time and we can swap notes lol

  485. Graham February 23, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

    Teresa, I’m happy to hear you’re nearly at the 6-week mark! To stretch out my jaw muscles, I simply chewed gum (the constant chewing works better than anything else I tried), whistled, and practiced moving my bottom jaw side-to-side. Let your pain be your guide with all of these activities. =)

  486. Teresa February 24, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

    As always Graham, thank you for the replies! I’ll try the gum! Also, finally sleeping laying down now, wake up in the mornin with what feels like a hangover (without the previous nights fun!) but it’s nice to lay flat out in the bed again!

  487. Terry February 24, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

    Lea-Anne, where are you having your surgery? Teresa, did you go almost 6 weeks before you could lay flat? I’m thinking my recliner is going to become my new best friend! LOL

  488. Mary-Ellin February 24, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

    Hey Graham,

    I wasn’t sure where to post this, so thought I’d visit the Recovery Timeline. For the record, I’m 25 days post-op today, following double jaw surgery.

    I’d like to get your perspective on the following developments and, well, sort of vent about where I am in the recovery process.

    First, the good:

    From the neck down, I feel pretty normal. I’m still on the all-liquid/blended diet, and though it can be frustrating, I’m getting used to it. There are some really tasty things you can put in a blender, and I still use Ensure, Boost, and the like to fill the nutritional gaps. I also take Emergen-C dissolved in water or juice.

    I’m off the syringes, can drink from a cup, and can almost use a straw. It’s a little tricky, because from the mid-line of my lips to about the middle of my right cheek, I’m still pretty numb. It can get messy, as you know.

    I’m allowed to take the rubber bands off for an hour and a half, three times a day, so I time those intervals with meals, followed by cleaning my mouth. I can’t floss, so Listerine is a staple!

    Nasal congestion is much better – back to normal levels. I can breathe fine for the most part. There’s a little congestion, but it’s very manageable. I’m also allowed to blow my nose now (gently)! Oh, the things I took for granted before jaw surgery! After 3.5 weeks, there are still some icky things coming from my right sinus, but nothing too alarming.

    Jaw mobility is so-so. If I open as wide as I can, I can fit 1-2 fingers between my front teeth. Two fingers are a stretch. I’m not sure what’s expected at this point – 3.5 weeks out.

    This has been a major frustration for me: I feel like my surgeon is giving me almost no guidelines for what to expect or what I should be doing/not doing in terms of exercises. I was warned ahead of time that while he is “a masterful surgeon,” and “the best in the state – if not the southwest,” that he has virtually no personality or bedside manner. He’s not mean or anything, but the warning has proved true. I’ve learned to go into my appointments with a well-planned and brief list of specific questions!

    Now the scary stuff:

    I had my bite splint removed on Feb. 20th, exactly 3 weeks post-op, so they could start treating me “tooth-to-tooth.” It seems that my lower jaw is now too far forward. I think we’re only talking about millimeters (my mandible was moved forward 7mm), but this is frightening because my bite feels terrible right now.

    Also, when the splint came out, the four back molars touched first. The surgeon decided to remove enamel from all of them. Now my side and back teeth don’t touch at all. I don’t know if this is the correct way to describe it, but it’s almost like having open bites of a millimeter or two along both sides. When I bite down, my incisors come together first, and they come together HARD. It feels like my bottom incisors slam into the backs of my upper incisors. It’s forceful enough that it wakes me up in the middle of the night, and I noticed this morning that there’s a rough spot on the back of one of my incisors – probably from the bottom one rubbing against it.

    I sincerely hope that my doctors aren’t thinking that this is the final product. I’m under the surgeon’s care through the end of March, at which point I return to the world of orthodontics, where I hope he can make adjustments and level everything out. Both the surgeon and the orthodontist are currently saying is that since I spent so many years with a severe Class II bite, I probably (unconsciously) tried to compensate by pushing my lower jaw forward. I no longer need to do that, so we have to retrain my muscles to sit back. The rubber bands are situated to try and accomplish that, but I’m skeptical.

    Honestly, right now, although the healing and recovery overall is going well, I’m very unhappy with my bite. Even if I were allowed to try chewing food, I don’t think I could because my chewing teeth don’t come together at all. I also have a lisp when I speak, and I’ve never had a lisp in my life. Singing and speaking are big parts of what I do, so that’s not a welcome development.

    Though there’s no point in it, it’s very easy to go down the thought path of, “I never should have done this in the first place…my bite is ruined…this was a life-altering mistake…I can’t trust my doctors…etc.”

    I’m also not happy that I found out two weeks before the surgery that I would have external incisions. I was told before I ever agreed to jaw surgery and throughout the process that all surgical incisions would be inside my mouth. There are, in fact, two (albeit tiny) incisions – now scars – in the middle of both sides of my lower jaw. Granted, someone else probably wouldn’t notice them, but I do. I only hope that they will fade as the years go by.

    Back to the bite…I’ve heard that it’s common for the bite to worsen during the pre-surgery orthodontic phase of treatment, so that’s not a surprise. But the point is usually to make the bite worse, then have the surgery, then the bite comes together. That isn’t happening with me, and I’m upset, scared, angry, worried, etc. about it all. My biggest fears at this point are the possibility of needing another surgery (which could also mean more external scarring), or coming to the realization that the time, physical/emotional discomfort, and many thousands of dollars will be for naught. That I’ve basically traded one set of problems for another, and that it’s my own fault because, though my dentist and doctors strongly encouraged this surgery, it was ultimately my and my husband’s choice to go through with it.

    So…it’s been a mixed bag so far. Lots of good things happening, but not related to my bite, which was the point of all this in the first place.

    Sorry for such a long note, but it is helpful to vent in a forum with other jaw surgery patients. I’ve been in contact with another blogger, and her advice was to just give it time. I have many months of braces left, etc. In her case, she said it took a good 8 months for her to completely acclimate to her new bite. Of course, what I’m experiencing right now better NOT be my new bite. We’ll see.

    I hope you’re doing well, and thank you in advance for letting me vent. As I said, it’s uncomfortable to explain this to people who haven’t been through it. Many think I was crazy for doing this, and the last thing I need now is a string of “I told you so’s.”

    Just trying to stay patient and positive, but I seem to be going through a scary spell.

    Mary-Ellin

  489. lea-anne February 25, 2013 at 1:47 am #

    ohh mary-ellin sounds like youve been thru a hard time !!! hope you feel better soon. terry i live in scotland uk i am awaiting a call from the surgeon today to discuss my options i think they will be not much we can do wait till may haha

  490. Mary-Ellin February 25, 2013 at 8:01 am #

    Thanks, Lea-Anne! I do hope that I’m worrying needlessly, and by all accounts, recovering from jaw surgery and working toward a healthy bite is a long, slow process. Definitely trying to stay positive (and busy, so I don’t dwell on things too much), but it’s just scarier than I expected! Good luck to you on your journey!

  491. Jaydien February 26, 2013 at 5:37 pm #

    Well here we are got my pre op on Thursday and 07:30am here in England I shall be in hospital getting ready to go down to theatre and all I am thinking is SHHHHHHHHITTTTTT !! Sorry for the language but ahhhhh in full panic mode !!

  492. Marissa February 26, 2013 at 11:25 pm #

    Hey Graham, just wanted to ask at which point did you manage to open your mouth fully? It’s about 4.5 weeks after my surgery, about 1.5 weeks ago I was allowed to start practising opening my mouth. Just saw my surgeon on Monday and she said most of her patients were able to open their mouths by about 3cm by that point in time while there I was stuck with 1.5cm. Is it normal to be this slow? Any tips on how to get my mouth to fully open up faster? It’s really painful every time I have to do those jaw exercises but I don’t seem to be improving at the same time :(

  493. nicole March 1, 2013 at 7:59 am #

    I just love this website!!! My double jaw and genioplasty surgery is scheduled for april 2nd!! I am curious to know what kind of weight people are losing after this procedure? I’m approx 135 pounds…..what kind of weight loss should i be expecting?

  494. Teresa March 5, 2013 at 8:08 am #

    Hi Nicole,
    I also had double jaw surgery, septoplasty and genioplasty. I’m 5’9″ and was 143lbs going into surgery, now 7 weeks later I’m 126lbs. I’m back on solid foods now. So I should start to gain a few back!
    Good luck with your surgery!

  495. nicole March 5, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

    Hi Theresa,

    thank you so much for your reply!!! Is 7 weeks the norm for getting into softer foods? How do you feel since you have had the procedure? Congrats on moving past the liquid diet……my god i love food and have no idea how im going to make it through lol.

  496. Jessica March 17, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    Somebody help :( I am three weeks and three days post- surgery and I still have quite a bit of swelling! It doesn’t seem to be going away. I have been using moist heat and drinking tons of water and taking arnica Montana (homeopathic) and getting rest and eating healthy foods…I am so frustrated I don’t know what else to do. My oral surgeon just keeps telling me how surprised he is that the swelling has not subsided more and how it is usually mostly gone after the 2nd week. To make things worse, I have giant canker sores on the inside I my lip that won’t go away because these surgical hooks are digging into the inside of my lips and because i keep biting myself because I can’t feel my face! :( I have tried so hard to stay positive but I’m really at a breaking point here. If anybody is out there that has any words of advice or has had a similar experience in this..please help. :(

  497. Graham March 20, 2013 at 12:00 am #

    Hi Mary-Ellin! I must apologize for my tardy response—I was on a backpacking adventure through Spain and Italy, so I couldn’t find any time to respond to comments. On a positive note, you’re nearly all recovered and back in action now!

    The other blogger you’ve been chatting with is, in my opinion, correct. I was also left with an open bite and various other uncomfortable “problems.” However, during the weeks that followed, I learned how to speak and sing clearly, how to chew with the new position of my teeth, and my molars met once again. Most of the issues you mentioned will be solved by patience. Your speech should correct itself as you adapt to speaking with your jaws in their new position. Your open bite should close because our teeth naturally grow until they encounter opposition (in the form of your other jaw).

    Now that you’re two months in, hopefully things are looking up for you. Stay positive and don’t worry about follow-up operations until at least a few more months have passed and you’ve adjusted to your new bite. You’ll come out in good shape, Mary-Ellin. Just hang in there! =)

  498. Graham March 20, 2013 at 12:35 am #

    Marissa, I couldn’t fully open my mouth until nearly three months post-op, so you have nothing to worry about. The only exercise I did to help with my jaw movement was chewing gum. Most of your flexibility will return once you’re eating regular food once again.

  499. Graham March 20, 2013 at 2:23 am #

    Hi Jessica!

    First off, I wouldn’t worry about your swelling just yet. The only reason swelling would stick around indefinitely would be from repeated impact, and since you’re in a healthy state of recovery, it will dissipate eventually. I was still incredibly swollen at the three-week mark, so you’re not the only one. (Heck, I was still quite swollen at the two-month mark!) Just keep doing what you’re doing and it will begin to go away very soon.

    As for your canker sores, go to your local pharmacy and ask if they sell little packets of wax. They usually have the product for people with braces. You simple break off small chunks of wax and stick them to the parts of your mouth that are being cut of braces, wires, and the like. They work wonderfully and you’ll find them very soothing.

    Don’t lose hope. You’re nearly at the point where things will begin to look up more and more each day, so hang in there, find that wax, and stay alive! =)

  500. Rachael.W. March 20, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    Hey, Graham. I had lower jaw surgery and genioplasty done on the 14th of march,a week tomorrow. Im recovering really well and I’m able to drink from a cup. only my bottom lip and chin are still numb. your website has been a big help, all your tips and hints and other peoples experiences too. Just wanted to say a big thank you all your hard work. :0)

  501. Graham March 20, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    Thanks for your kind words, Rachael! And congratulations on already being a week in. One more week and life will begin to get a lot easier for you. =)

  502. Mary-Ellin March 21, 2013 at 8:32 am #

    Hey Graham,

    Sounds like a great trip!

    I’m indeed doing better. My surgeon explained what a dynamic process this is, and not to get caught up in the day-to-day shifts in where teeth are/aren’t touching, numbness levels, and so on.

    Went back to the orthodontist earlier this week, and he seems very confident that with the aid of rubber bands, my molars will eventually come together, and adjustments to the top front teeth will help the incisors not “bang” together so much. My overbite was so big, it’s just a very weird feeling to have them touch at all. I’m actually down to only TWO rubber bands now – oh, the sheer freedom!!!

    I’m 7 weeks out now, and don’t quite have clearance to chew yet, but I’ve been eating potatoes, scrambled eggs, soups that have not gone through the blender, etc. Oddly enough, fish has worked really well, since it’s usually so soft and flaky. Doesn’t require much effort.

    Thanks for the encouragement!

    P.S. This might be the best part – orthodontist says I should be out of braces in 4-6 months. I’ll still have implants to go through after that, but sooo excited to get my braces off!

  503. Berni March 25, 2013 at 7:08 am #

    Hi – I just found this site. Graham, I’m relieved by your response to Marissa. My son had double jaw surgery on Feb 1st. When he went for his first post-op orthodontic appt. six weeks later the TMJ specialist that he was seeing that day was appalled that my son hadn’t been told to exercise his jaw by stretching. He said that it could heal unable to fully open. My son started doing the exercises that day. It’s been a couple of weeks since then and he still can’t open enough to bite into a sandwich or hamburger, for instance. I’m really worried. Has anyone been through this?

  504. Graham March 26, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

    Berni, I can vouch for being able to achieve full movement of your jaw even if you start exercising it at the six-week mark. I didn’t start eating or chewing gum until seven weeks post-op and I regained my entire range of motion. Simply have your son chew gum all day long, whistle for a few minutes per day (to break up the scar tissue), and attempt to eat regular meals (with the exception of foods like steak and nuts). All will be well in the end! =)

  505. Jake March 26, 2013 at 9:01 pm #

    Hey Graham, I was wondering how long it took you gain your 21 pounds back since your surgery?

  506. Berni March 27, 2013 at 6:05 am #

    Thanks Graham! Maybe it’s a mom thing to worry so much, but after the poor kid went through so much I want the result to be perfect. He also had a big deviation of the septum and his nose was really crooked (sideways). Originally the surgeon said he would fix his nose at the same time but as the scope of work became more apparent, he said it could be done in the future. My son was in surgery for 7 hours with a breathing tube in his nose so with the swelling and all they only did a little on the nose. His nose is about 30% straighter now and also little bit wider. I see other people have said their noses were wider afterwards too. Anyhow, thanks for being here for everyone!

  507. Graham March 27, 2013 at 11:13 am #

    Jake, I regained the weight I lost within about four weeks of eating solid food and lifting weights again. So, for me, I was back to my pre-surgery weight by week 11.

  508. M March 30, 2013 at 7:10 pm #

    Hi Graham,

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I am going to have the double jaw surgery in a couple of months. I d like to ask a question. I live far away from home, all by myself. Do you think that a person can go through the post operation by himself alone?

    Thanks for your time.

  509. Graham March 31, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

    M, while it’s certainly possible to recover with no help, I would advise against it for the first two weeks for two reasons. First, it will be emotionally stressful for you to be alone during the initial weeks of blended food and lack of energy. And second, it’s far more responsible to have another adult nearby in case you choke on something, react to a certain type of medicine, or the like. =)

  510. Terry March 31, 2013 at 8:10 pm #

    M, I was going to be alone two days after getting out of the hospital because my hubbie has to go up north for work. My mom volunteered to come to BC from Nova Scotia and I am really glad that she is coming to be with me.

  511. M March 31, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

    Hey Graham, thanks for your answer. I m lucky to still have a couple of months to prepare for the recovery.

    Terry, I wish you all the best with the surgery and recovery!

  512. Hollie April 1, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

    Hi Graham :)

    I had double jaw surgery August 2011. I had a very noticeable underbite and made me very self conscious about my looks!! Two days after I had surgery I had an x-ray to make sure everything was in line and in the x-ray the doctors saw that the bottom left metal plate fixed to by jaw had snapped so had to go back into surgery to have it fixed. Once my mouth had been opened up again the surgeons were shocked to find that all of the metal plates were in perfect condition. It turns out that there was just a shadow on the x-ray picture. I was in hospital for a little over a week in the intensive care unit as I have severe asthma and being put under general anaesthetic is very dangerous for me. To my delight I recovered considerable quickly considering I ended up having two operations!!

    The only problem I seem to have is blowing my nose!! It is so painful to blow my nose because of the metal springs under each nostril!! Blowing my nose makes the springs vibrate which causes quite a lot of pain!! The surgery has also made my nose a completely different shape to what it was before!! Before surgery I had a bumpy wonky hook nose very much like Professor Snapes from Harry Potter!! I now have a straight narrow nose with a little upturn and wider at the nostrils Which I was delighted by as I hated my nose!! But the narrowness of it combined with the metal springs makes it very hard to blow my nose!! And I now absolutely dread getting even the slightest cold as it becomes so painful!!

    I wonder if you or anyone else has encountered this problem??

    Oh and by the way I’m from England!!

  513. Graham April 1, 2013 at 11:25 pm #

    Hi Hollie,

    I can’t believe the doctors put you under twice when there wasn’t an actual issue the second time. That seems like a really dangerous mistake to make. I’m glad you’re not bitter about it and realize it’s behind you now.

    I’ve met others who had to have their septum fixed after surgery because they never healed properly, but never anyone who was having difficulty breathing due to the new shape of their nose. If you haven’t adjusted to it’s new shape or size yet, chances are you should give your surgeon a call to ask them about the springs. I don’t have any springs in my face, so I cannot relate, unfortunately. Perhaps your surgeon has received similar feedback from a previous patient and they can offer some wisdom.

    Also, I just returned from England a few weeks ago. What delicious beer you have there!

  514. marissa April 7, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

    I had my surgery April 1 2013, osteotomy maxifacial le forte, swelling is going down, had bloody noses first couple of days dripping out, now day 6 having more blood coming out. Is this normal? I heard popping noise then nose started to bleed, but stopped right away.

  515. Graham April 8, 2013 at 12:46 am #

    Marissa, it’s normal for your nose to bleed for a few weeks following surgery. Make sure to keep it as clean as possible, but do not blow your nose because you don’t want to break the blood clots that have formed. Your nose will return to normal in a few weeks’ time. =)

  516. wilma April 13, 2013 at 11:36 pm #

    I know I had one of the best surgeons in US to do my surgery. But still -I find it so strange. It seems like everything I’ve read (here and elsewhere) people can’t talk or eat and are numb -all these things for so long. I thought that this was the case, but I was totally wrong. I had double jaw surgery. Woke up with only two elastics (I have lingual braces), no splinth, I could talk immediatly, I drank from a cup immediately, I even had soup and jello the first evening at the hospital and I wasn’t numb anywhere! After I got back home, the not being numbed was not that great though, cause I had a lot of pain in the beginning. It’s better now, it’s only been 10 days, and my surgeon said I can try eat soft foods. I already brush my teeth both outside and inside. What I think is uncomfortable and scary is that I can feel some of the screws they placed, under my lower teeth and under my nose. I def. want to take out all this hardwear when I’m fully healed. I’m also quite swollen still, I really hope it won’t last more than a couple of weeks, but It seems almost impossible to predict as everyone even have so different time-lines.

    Anyway, I guess I have been very lucky with where I had my surgery. And I feel for everyones recovery. I just wanted to add for those who has NOT had surgery yet – it seems like this type of surgery has advanced a lot!!

    I read your post Hollie -why don’t you just take the hardwear out? In Europe they usually do that when it has healed. And it’s very easy, they can do it in their office. I had a genioplasty before my jaw surgery cause the surgoen wanted to just “cover up” my bite. (which it did, but didn’t help for all my pain with the bite). I took the plate/screws out a year later.

  517. Graham April 14, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

    Wilma, the recovery really depends on the actual surgery. “Double jaw surgery” is a blanket term—some people require splints because their upper palette needs to be expanded, while others do not. I’m happy to hear that you’re experiencing a much more relaxing recovery than some of us, though!

    Also, I know that my surgeon told me he only removes the hardware from patients if they have an allergic reaction or experience chronic pain as a result, but the case may be different for you. All the best!

  518. wilma April 15, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

    hi Graham

    Yes, “double jaw surgery” obviously is very different for everybody. Do you know if it’s dependent on how much they move the jaw in mm? Because they only moved my lower jaw 4mm forward, and my upper jaw 4 mm upward.

    It’s your decision if you want to remove the hardwear. not the surgeon. And I truly recommend that to everyone, cause you never know what can happen.

    I wonder about something else -I know I just had my surgery. But -when I try smiling it hurts obviously -but only on the right side. And it feels like it’s this sudden sharp pain, like I hit a special nerve or something. I wonder if this is normal and how long does it take for it to not hurt when you smile or laugh? (any experiences on this)

  519. Graham April 16, 2013 at 9:19 am #

    Wilma, try not to worry about any pain or appearance-relate things until at least three months have passed by. Chances are the pain you’re experiencing is due to swelling and scar tissue, and it’s perfectly normal for these things to show up more on one side of your face than the other during recovery.

  520. wilma April 17, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    OK, thank you. I’ll try not to think about it. I know that everything is growing and I guess I just have to wait! this whole process is certainly a lot about patience..

  521. Berni April 17, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

    Hi – I was curious how much follow up is typical afterwards. My son had the LeFort, upper jaw split with a splinth, etc. Had several follow up appts in the 1st six weeks post-op, then nothing. I called the office to see if further follow ups needed to be scheduled and the office person said “why, is he having a problem?” so I backed off.
    He does see the orthodontist once a month who said the braces should come off this summer.

  522. Graham April 18, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

    Berni, I had checkups at one week, two weeks, one month, and three months. I began seeing my orthodontist occasionally after that, but there certainly wasn’t a heavy schedule of follow-up appointments. If your surgeon isn’t scheduling any and your son is feeling alright, there’s no need to head in for another checkup. =)

  523. Berni April 19, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    Interesting. It will be 3 months post-opp on May 1st w/o any followups scheduled so I guess I should just relax. He was seen at 10 days and 6 weeks. Still working on opening his mouth more. He can now now place 2 fingers up and down, almost enough to bite into a sandwich.
    When someone goes back for a septum repair on, how much later is it? Is it like six months?
    Again, thanks Graham!

  524. Graham April 19, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

    Berni, if a patient needs their septum repaired or repositioned, I believe surgeons like to wait until their recovery is near complete (around the three month mark). You’ll have to call your surgeon for a more educated answer than that, though, because I never had that done, personally.

  525. lea-anne April 29, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    ok so graham new schedule lol they are now planning to correct both jaw allignment aswell as taking a bone graft from my hip to help with eye socket and cheekbone implants!! then 6 month after surgery they will correct my nose i was a tad worried when it was postponed in feb now im freeking out!!! please tell me youve heard of someone who had this im in for surgery (if all goes to plan and no cancellation this time) 20th may

  526. Graham April 29, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

    Lea-anne, I know one lady who had to return to her surgeon several months later to have another small operation involving her nose and she’s doing well today. I’m not sure if she’s experiencing any complications, but I’ve met her a few times and she hasn’t complained about anything, so I can only assume that she’s doing great! Considering this surgeon is bone-heavy, I doubt that a little extra work to maintain the shape of your cheek won’t produce too much of a difference in recovery. You’ll be in good hands! =)

  527. lea-anne April 30, 2013 at 1:24 am #

    that makes me feel alot better thank you i showed this blog to my surgeon and he said this should be the bible to jaw surgery haha said its a good descriptive blog and many things said are accurate so im in good hands with both surgeon and this lol, i actually cannot wait to see the results the excitement at the moment is outweighing the fear this may change on the day !! thanks again :D

  528. shaun May 4, 2013 at 7:01 am #

    Graham,
    i had jaw surgery 3 days ago, the surgeon removed my bandages today, it looked awfull, its so swelled.
    1. how long will the swelling last?
    2. im so worried about numbness in my lower right lip and lower righ chin, i can feel the pinch and hot and cold substances but still its quite numb, how long will this numbness last , is this sensation of pinch and cold and hot things is a good sign of recovery?
    3. i feel like crying, i want to get my earlier face back, my earlier face was way better, pls help me graham pls :(

  529. Graham May 5, 2013 at 9:02 am #

    Hi Shaun,

    1) The swelling will be intense for 2–4 weeks, so you’ll have to get used to it for at least a little while.

    2) If you can feel sensations in your lip and chin, that generally means the nerves are healing. However, you’re only 3 days in, so it’s honestly not worth your energy to even consider loss of feeling for another couple of months. Nerves take quite a while to wake up again.

    3) You need to keep a positive attitude. Make yourself smoothies, find television series to pass your time with, and make sure you go outside for walks every single day (if not twice every day). You’ll feel much better in a few weeks, I promise. The surgery is absolutely worthwhile!

  530. Cara May 14, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

    I had double jaw surgery and my chin done in December, my face still swells up and i get alot of pain in one side is This normal nearly 6 months after op?

  531. Graham May 15, 2013 at 9:17 am #

    Cara, you shouldn’t be swelling up or experiencing pain 5–6 months post-op. I know I offer this advice seemingly all too often, but I would give your surgeon a call and ask to have an x-ray performed to make sure the hardware in your jaw is still in place. You could be swelling up due to a bracket that broke off and is causing discomfort.

  532. Steven May 15, 2013 at 9:21 am #

    Hey Graham,
    I’m almost 6 months post-op and I’m loving it. Biting and eating is so much easier but I do have a concern though. My mouth isn’t opening as wide as it should. I’m afraid that it might be stuck like that forever and my gums are still almost completely numb. Is my mouth going to revert back on it’s own or is there something I should do to make it open. My primary surgeon never gave me an excercise.

  533. Graham May 16, 2013 at 9:40 am #

    Steven, are you chewing gum and whistling throughout the day? Chewing gum provides constant exercise for your jaw, thereby stretching the muscles out, and whistling will aid in breaking up any scar tissue in your face. Try chewing sugar-free gum most of each day and take up whistling as hobby and you may notice increased movement coming back. =)

  534. Steven May 20, 2013 at 2:53 am #

    Thanks! I’ll try the gum trick! I don’t know how to whistle! haha.

  535. lea-anne May 23, 2013 at 8:57 am #

    so had double jaw surgery monday so that makes me 3days post op was under for 9 hours total needed both upper and lower jaw corrected they took bone from my hip and put that and metal plates around my eye sockets and cheekbones. i feel remarkably well no pain as such just the uncomfortableness from swelling i am able to drink from a straw and am eating soup/fluids from spoon only on liquid paracetamol for pain feeling good though thats a good sign i hope lol.

  536. Graham May 23, 2013 at 9:47 am #

    Lea-anne, I can’t believe you had hardware put in around your eye sockets, wow! Your x-rays are going to look totally robotic when you’re all healed up! =)

  537. lea-anne May 24, 2013 at 8:33 am #

    i know it feels weird i can feel the swelling go down which is strange but wonderful ! it almost feels like water dripping from the inside. i must admit i am starving though this sucks big time ive lost 6lbs and im only day 5. still no pain as such just pressure i use ur blog as a bible its similar to mine just different stages but then ur in canada and im in scotland so thats to be exected i am just glad im able to read n think yeah thats what i feel i should feel like this tomorrow lol my doctor gave me a sick line for work today a whole week !!! she is ever so kind but i have a feeling i wont be back after just 1 week off :D

  538. Teresa May 26, 2013 at 12:44 am #

    Hey Graham,
    Just wanted to check in and give an update on my progress!
    So my surgery was Jan 14th all was goin very well, swelling gone earaches gone, even the numbness is gone. Then about a month ago my bite started getting smaller I couldn’t stretch it open and it just locked up! I waited for insurance to clear and then yesterday I had arthrocentesis, where the put me under general anesthesia and injected fluid into my TMJ and literally forced my jaws apart. It sounds alot worse than it was. I feel much better now, they don’t know why it happened but one theory he had was that my jaws were not used of all my teeth touching together which put a lot of pressure on the joint causing it to lock up. Just thought I’d post it here in case any one else is experiencing something similar.

  539. Graham May 27, 2013 at 10:23 am #

    Teresa, that sounds like an intense experience, what with the forcing-your-jaw-apart bit! I’m glad you’re in better shape now! =)

  540. Danielle May 28, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

    Hi Graham, I had double jaw surgery one week ago, and today I picked up my dog to get him in the car and his face ended up applying pressure to the right side of my face. It wasn’t a hit or a hard impact, but it was definitely more pressure than I have put on it at all. I’m concerned now because the right side of my face is still hurting and may be a little bit more swollen as well. My biggest fear is that I would have to do this surgery again. Aside from not picking up my dog until this is all over, any suggestions or tips?

  541. Graham May 29, 2013 at 11:04 am #

    Danielle, I would apply a heatpack to your face and sleep on it. If it still hurts more than normal tomorrow, give your surgeon a call and ask if you can come in for a quick 10-minute checkup to make sure that nothing has shifted. If it wasn’t a hard, abrupt impact, you should be perfectly fine, but if it hurts for more than 24 hours, I’d get your surgeon to check it out in the name of due diligence. =)

  542. Le June 14, 2013 at 5:50 am #

    Hi Graham.

    Your website is a salvation. I am impressed with your responses and care. I broke my jaw in an accident and had surgery to repair it about 2.5 weeks ago. I broke it in two places, one at my chin and one at the right hinge. Everything seems to be healing up ok, with the exception that the right side of my lower lip is pretty non-responsive, while the left side seems quite swollen (as well as the lower side of my chin). The doctors (I have multiple unfortunately) all say different things but basically say this is normal . . however from what I read online, jaw surgery should not affect motor nerve skills (or very rarely). When you refer to parts of the face being ‘frozen’, etc. . .is this what you mean? If so, when should I hope for it to recover? Should I be as stressed as I am? My smile is not affected, but stationary mouth is shifted to the left side.

    thanks so much,
    Le

  543. Graham June 15, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    Le, jaw surgery did not impact any facial movement for me (once I was healed up, of course). When I mention parts of my face being “frozen,” I mean that the nerves in part of my lip and chin were bruised during the operation and never recovered. I suppose you could consider that to be permanent nerve damage, in that those parts of your face always feel like they’re asleep, but I adjusted to the lack of feeling so quickly that I truly don’t even notice it any longer. If you’re lacking actual movement in your face, that is likely directly related to your accident. I can’t say if the surgery will solve that problem, so you’ll have to do your research and trust your doctors on that front. I wish you all the best in your decision!

  544. Stephanie June 15, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

    Hi Graham. I’m getting double jaw surgery in about a month. I’m 17 and school starts again on August 26th. I was wondering how long the swelling will take to go down and if you think I would be ready to go back to school. I have my second to last orthodontist appointment on Monday before my surgery, and I have a meeting with my surgeon in a few weeks. If you could give me advice, that would be great. Thank you.

  545. Graham June 16, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

    Stephanie, after a month of recovery, you’ll be able to attend class and focus through the day, but your speech may still be difficult to understand. I would still advise you to undergo the surgery now in the name of putting it behind you, but just be mentally prepared to deal with a communications barrier for the first 2–3 weeks of school. =)

  546. Steven June 19, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

    Hey Graham,

    I’m almost 7 months post-op now and my orthodontist just told me I still have to wear my bands on both sides for 20 hours a day now. Is that normal? I would assume that after 7 months post-op I would have more freedom. I feel like im still in month 1.

  547. Graham June 20, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    Steven, I wore my bands for a full 9 months after the operation (until I had my braces removed), so it is normal, yes. Most orthodontists recommend you wear your bands fulltime until you have your braces taken off. It sounds annoying, but the moment the braces come off, you no longer need the bands either. =)

  548. Nicole June 25, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

    hi graham it’s me again!! It has been officially 3 months since double jaw and genio!! I still have no feeling in chin or lower lip!! Please please please tell me it’s coming back!! Doctor told me to wait 6 months but common. :(

  549. Coby June 25, 2013 at 9:07 pm #

    Nicole, It has been 6 months since my own surgery, and I am just now regaining full feeling in my lower lip. I actually forgot all about my lower lip being numb until you mentioned it, as I got so used to it having no feeling. It will come back in time; you just have to be patient. My lip stayed completely numb for about 4-5 months, so don’t panic!!

  550. Graham June 26, 2013 at 9:22 am #

    Nicole, it is actually common for feeling to take up to 6 months to return, but it’s also smart to mentally prepare yourself in case those nerves remain permanently damaged. If that’s the case, you’ll honestly be amazed at how quickly you forget about the fact that you have patchy feeling in certain parts of your face. Stay positive, though, because bruised nerves can sometimes take quite a while to heal up (as Coby mentioned)!

  551. lea-anne June 26, 2013 at 11:11 am #

    nicole i work in rehab therapy and when we have a patient with nerve damage we do a lot of touch therapy basically get a bit of ur lip or area close to it that u feel and slowly and softly rub the area around that if u feel it move along and so on ive been doing this to my upper lip since after my ortho surgery which was 5weeks ago and after just a few weeks i can nearly feel it all not 100% yet but the feelings there touch is very important in nerve healing cos the brain doesnt recognise numbness so the healing process is lenghtly. rubbing your face when dry like your washing it is a great way for your senses to come back we use this with stroke patients too and it has a huge sucess rate hope this helps

    lea-anne x

  552. Nicole June 27, 2013 at 6:39 am #

    Thank you everyone for your comments. You have eased my worries for the moment. :)

  553. Emily June 30, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

    Wow- 3 years since this was posted and you are still responding to questions! You are a good man, Graham.

  554. Graham July 2, 2013 at 9:40 am #

    It’s my gift to fellow orthodontic war heroes, Emily. =)

  555. Spandana July 5, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    Hi Graham,
    I am nineteen years old, and I had double jaw surgery to fix my overbite a little more than two weeks ago and your blog has been amazing! My recovery has been going quite fast as I already had my splint removed at week one and am currently eating soft foods (no chewing). I have been using the removable rubber bands for a week now.
    Most of my swelling has gone away but there is still quite a bit on my lips. My lips still feel pretty tense as it is hard to move and they are still a bit dry. I have constant tingling sensation in them but it doesn’t seem to give back much feeling. How long do you think it would take for them to start being more normal?
    Also, I was wondering if you ever heard of constant ear aches during the recovery period. For the past one week, my left ear has been hurting a lot especially when I go to bed making it hard to sleep throughout the night. I have tried different types of painkillers and none of the seem to have worked. The doctor said it had to do with the jaw joints finding its place.I was just curious when this ear pain would end and if you have heard of anyone with a similar problem.
    Thanks again for making this amazing blog!

  556. Graham July 7, 2013 at 12:36 am #

    Spandana, feeling usually returns at some point within the first two months of recovery, so it’s perfectly normal to still be experiencing the tingling sensations at this point. Just be patient and your nerves will reawaken over the next month or so. As for ear aches, I did not have to deal with any personally, but I know others who had them, and they said the ear aches went away as their swelling subsided. So again, this should only affect you for the next week or so. Stay strong and you’ll be feeling much better this time next week!

  557. Jennifer July 12, 2013 at 12:25 am #

    I had upper and lower surgery to correct an overbite and narrow upper 14 months ago. I still have numb gums, lips and chin. My gums are especially bothersome. I saw my surgeon today and he said this is how it will be for the rest of my life. He said it’s very rare and he’s never seen it. Wants me to go to a nerve specialist and thinks medication may help. Is it possible for this uncomfortable numb sensation will continue over time to get better?

  558. Graham July 12, 2013 at 9:34 am #

    Jennifer, chances are the feeling you have now is what you’ll have for the rest of your life. I have permanent numbness in my bottom lip and the left side of my chin, but I’ve grown used to it and no longer notice it (unless people ask about it). Is it painful, or just frustrating because it feels like parts of your face are frozen?

  559. Mike July 20, 2013 at 7:38 am #

    Hi Graham, I had double jaw surgery on June 7, 2013. No I didnt have my jaw wired shut, I’ve just had a splint on my upper jaw that is being taken out in 5 days. I’m 6 weeks post op now and I’m feeling pretty good, just getting anxious to get the splint out because it gives me an embarassing lisp! My swellings gone down a lot. But my question is I bought tickets to a concert for july 30th which will be 53 days post op. As of right now I feel fine, but in your opinion will I have enough energy to be there 7 weeks post op? I know it sounds dumb because I said I feel fine but in terms of dancing and being at a crowded environment.. how did you feel 7 weeks post op?

  560. Graham July 21, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

    Mike, you’ll be in good shape to attend a concert at the 7-week mark, so I wouldn’t worry about it. You may still be slightly swollen, but you’ll be able to communicate clearly and you’ll have most of your regular energy back by then. Enjoy the show!

  561. Joyce July 28, 2013 at 12:37 am #

    Hi! I am scheduled to have my surgery October this year. This website and timeline has been great! Very helpful so I can get a feel of what to anticipate. This will be my first major surgery. I will definitely be referring back to the blog in the coming months!

  562. Graham July 29, 2013 at 10:47 am #

    Joyce, make sure you enjoy barbecues all summer long! Good luck in October!

  563. eduardo July 30, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    hey graham
    I was just wondering what your diet was how long were you on a full liquid diet and when did you move on to eat soft no chew diet or solid food?
    I recently had surgery on my upper and chin and its been 12 days and recently have been move to soft no chew diet but can t eat it because I still have the splint in for another 4 weeks and sick of ensure shakes and liquid any good ideas of what else’s I can eat?

  564. Graham July 31, 2013 at 6:58 am #

    Eduardo, I was on a liquid diet for 7 full weeks (until I had my splint out). I survived off smoothies, blended Chunky soups, and Ensure. I’m a simple, repetitive eater in general, though, so I didn’t find it too bad. Truthfully, you can eat any meal as long as you blend it first, but thick soups are generally the best (and easiest). Think of how much you’ll appreciate solid food again after this!

  565. Luke July 31, 2013 at 11:51 pm #

    Graham,

    I’m so happy I found this! I’m on night 12 currently and the past 5 days I seem too improve by 100% each day! I’ve eaten mashed potatoes, applesauce, cut up lasagna, and tonight had soup at hooters! I know I’m still early on in the process, but when would you say chewing becomes an option? I’ve been swallowing everything I eat whole in fear of hurting my jaw, and I know it may be a long while before I chew!
    Thanks a lot,
    Luke

  566. Graham August 1, 2013 at 8:21 am #

    Luke, I’m happy to hear each day is offering you monumental gains now! The rate of recovery is different for everyone, so I honestly cannot say in your case. I wasn’t able to chew until 7 weeks had passed because I had a splint in. If you feel up to it (and are splint-free), try chewing through mashed potatoes and boiled peas and other soft foods to see if it feels okay.

  567. Luke August 1, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    Graham,

    Yeah it sucks that it’s all different, but I’ve got the splint for 6 weeks! Lol

  568. lauren August 2, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    Hey I’m on day 4. Left the hospital yesterday. Dying to feel my mouth clean. He says my splint must stay in for 3 wks. Any chance it could be removed earlier. I’ve been drinking just sprite and water. Everything else makes me gag. And yawning has become a problem. I just need some encouragement. For me its the only serious pain I’ve ever felt. 8( help.
    I need food ideas and a way to sleep comfortably. Any suggestions.?

  569. lauren August 7, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

    Thanks for ur help…

  570. Graham August 8, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    Lauren, if you have a splint, it’s important that it remain in your mouth for the full period suggested by your surgeon. Its purpose is to keep your upper palette expanded, so if you remove it, your upper jaw will have the opportunity to collapse in on itself before your body fills in the gaps in the bone. I had my splint in for 7 weeks, so you have it easy! Try drinking smoothies as they are sweet and thick, so they may keep you from gagging. Best of luck! =)

  571. Bryan August 10, 2013 at 7:52 pm #

    I just had double jaw surgery 5 days ago. The swelling seems to have peaked a day or so ago and I think it has slightly reduced. Unfortunately, the surgeon told me that when my lower right jaw was maneuvered to break, that it didn’t break cleanly and the nerve took some damage. I hope I do regain some feeling back. This numbness is driving me crazy. Also due to the unclean break, my jaws are currently wired shut as of yesterday, and I have to undergo an additional surgery in 9 days to fill an area of the right lower jaw with a bone graft and plate to reinforce it. The surgeon feels it will remain weak and can be prone to additional harm if left untreated. So I’m not entirely looking forward to being under the knife again. He did tell me that this next surgery will be a lot less intrusive than the original upper/lower that I just had. I was informed that about a week after the next surgery, I should be able to switch from being wired shut to having bands… that will be a nice break.

  572. Christian August 11, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

    It’s been 10 days since my surgery and the swelling has gone down a lot (since leaving the hospital) on my face, except for my lips a bit. The feeling in the area around my nose and cheeks is going away slowly but there will hopefully be more movement coming back. Drinking with a syringe has also become less difficult to do since I’ve slowly regained a bit of feeling and movement on my lips. I’m hoping to upgrade to cups and straws in the following weeks. I have a bite plate in too and it should be removed in 6 weeks (Mid September) or before. I’m hoping for a miracle that it’s somehow removed before school starts haha

  573. Danielle August 14, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    Hi, it’s been two weeks and two days since my upper and lower jaw surgery (and my chin). I was wondering when all my swelling would should be gone? And when will I be able to make normal facial expressions? I’m tired of these elastics! It’s so hard to talk!

  574. Marcel August 16, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    I’m pretty worried i’m thinking about having it done but i’m worried what will happen when i first wake up what is it like when you first wake up?

  575. Graham August 19, 2013 at 8:33 am #

    Bryan, I’ve heard of a few different people requiring followup surgeries lately, so perhaps this is more common than we think. Your recovery time will be largely the same since your second operation is happening early into recovery, so it might not be a huge setback in the long run. Stay strong and I wish you all the best with the followup surgery!

  576. Graham August 19, 2013 at 8:36 am #

    Christian, bite plates are super frustrating, aren’t they? I doubt it will be removed before school starts, but keep in mind that people are more forgiving than we think they are, so once you’re all healed up, people will only remember your new smile. =)

  577. Graham August 19, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    Danielle, your swelling will likely stick around in noticeable fashion for 4–6 weeks, so you’re halfway to being back to normal appearance-wise. People generally feel quite confident with their looks and speech by around the two-month mark, so the end is in sight. =)

  578. Graham August 19, 2013 at 8:48 am #

    Marcel, you’ll have a nurse attending to you when you first wake up, so you won’t be alone. Chances are you’ll be in a recovery room with a few other jaw surgery patients. Your surgeon will also stop by to see how you’re doing. All in all, the first few days will be frustrating because you won’t be able to talk, but you can find rest in the fact that each day that passes will bring you a day closer to being fully recovered and never having to think about this surgery again! =)

  579. Christian August 27, 2013 at 6:30 am #

    Graham, at which time during the recovery did you start using a straw? My doctors ask if I’ve reached that point yet but I keep saying no because with the splint there’s no room for me to put the straw. I just reached 4 weeks (hooray!) I’m sticking with the syringe till the 6 weeks when the splint is removed. Any cause for concern there?

  580. Graham August 27, 2013 at 9:27 am #

    Christian, I actually didn’t use a straw at all during recovery. I graduated from the syringe straight to drinking from a cup at the 2-week mark. I would encourage you to drink from a cup in normal fashion as soon as you can because it makes life much more enjoyable. You may very well go crazy if you use a syringe for 6 weeks!

  581. Amuda August 28, 2013 at 11:23 am #

    Graham, its my 3rd week post op. My face is still a bit swollen. When does it become normal? And how many days post surgery will the face keep changing?

  582. Graham August 29, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    Amanda, your swelling will stick around for the better part of 2–3 months, so you’ve got a ways to go yet. You can take a look at the entire list of my daily mugshots to see when my face started to look a little less swollen.

  583. Kat August 29, 2013 at 10:56 am #

    hey,
    i had braces for 1 year when i was 13,i have vertically maxillary excess, now my teeth are properly aligned, most probably i have to go for upper jaw surgery, is it necessary to wear braces after surgery?? as my teeth alignment is fine
    In 3 months i ‘ll be fine? i mean can i plan for my own weeding after 3-4 months post operation?

  584. Graham August 30, 2013 at 10:01 am