Jaw Surgery – pictures, diet, risks & swelling

Orthognathis surgery, also known as corrective jaw surgery, is surgery of the jaw and surrounding area for cosmetic or functional reasons.

This post will cover most commonly asked questions and details related to Jaw Surgery. If you have any query which isn’t answered in this upper and lower jaw surgery blog already, please let us know through comments.

Jaw surgery is a type of orthognathic surgery in which they do upper jaw surgery (maxilla) or lower jaw surgery (mandible), or both, are operated to cure any functional deformity or for cosmetic reasons or for both functional and aesthetic reasons.

What is underbite and overbite

They’re types of malocclusions.

Underbite means when the lower jaw and teeth are protruding ahead of the upper jaw and teeth.

Overbite means when the lower jaw finishes before reaching the upper jaw limit.

underbite, overbite & crooked teeth

Now the issue can be with either upper and lower jaw or both in any of these conditions. A proper workup is done by the orthodontics and oral & maxillofacial surgeons to confirm if both jaws are involved or any one only, and if so then which one specifically. Obviously one can also tell that just by looking at the patients face, but that can sometimes be deceiving, that’s why doctors and surgeons have devised a proper workup mechanism for that.

Can jaw surgery fix overbite?

Yes, you can fix an overbite with surgery, however the treatment not always require surgery. Sometimes you can be treated by using other methods too including putting on braces only. However most of the patients need both braces and the surgery to correct their condition if the malocclusion is severe especially.

Jaw Surgery before and after pictures

Here are few before and after pictures and videos of people that underwent the jaw surgery.

The surgery undoubtedly brings amazing difference in them.

Once a great surgeon said to me: people either get much better or less better after jaw surgery, there is no getting worse. And when we see the people who underwent the surgery, it truly is so!

Lets start with the image of a patient undergoing lower jaw surgery for underbite.

jaw surgery before after underbite
jaw surgery before after overbite

Lower Jaw surgery for overbite.

Lower Jaw surgery for underbite.

jaw surgery before after underbite

Another lower jaw surgery for underbite.

jaw surgery before after underbite

And again, this guy underwent lower jaw surgery for overbite.

orthognathic surgery, jaw surgery before after overbite

All these guys look amazing after undergoing surgery!

Corrective Jaw Surgery Cost

Well the first and foremost question, how much does a jaw surgery cost? Well it depends! on a lot of things, such as:

  • Is it upper jaw, lower jaw or both jaws surgery?
  • Does it include orthodontics treatment too?
  • Which country you’re getting operated in?
  • Is the doctor new or experienced?
  • What’s the qualification of the Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon (OMFS)? (yes, many different qualification people are authorised to do this surgery, but some are more skilled than other)

Average cost can go between 1000$ to 15,000$. The cost of double jaw surgery can be even higher. We’ll keep updating it as we get it confirmed from various countries and visitors.

How long does Jaw Surgery take

The answer to this question really depends on:

  • Are you undergoing upper jaw surgery or lower jaw surgery, or both jaw surgery?
  • Any other complications are there in your jaws or face?
  • How much will they move your jaws forward or backward?

Usually a single jaw surgery lasts from 3 hours to 5 hours. While a double jaw surgery can go easily up to 6 hours (called bimax surgery).

Corrective Jaw Surgery Risks

Like every surgical procedure, there are risks associated with corrective jaw surgery too, be it upper jaw surgery, lower jaw surgery or both jaws surgery (bimax surgery).

Some of the corrective jaw surgery risks that are associated with all types are:

  • Excessive bleeding during surgery
  • Poor blood supply to the recently osteotomised segments of the jaw
  • Erroneous cuts or splits to the bone, blood supply, muscles or nerves, resulting in:
    • Numbness or tinging (temporary or permanent) to cheeks, teeth, lips, chin, etc.
    • Incorrect positioning of the jaw
    • Jaw joint problems
    • Damage to the teeth
  • Not achieving desired aesthetic results, especially if the purpose was cosmetic surgery only

If upper jaw surgery was also performed, with or without lower jaw, then the sinuses may get disturbed and the person might suffer with sinusitis, altered voice and other associated issues too.

However, these risks are not very common and if surgery is performed after proper workup and by an experienced surgeon, they can be avoided easily.

Jaw Surgery Recovery process

To be honest, jaw surgery recovery phase is very frustrating. It’s not painful, but irritating, because:

  • You can’t eat anything for some time
  • You can speak properly till your jaw is locked
  • You rely on juices and fluids only
  • It’s hard to clean your teeth when jaw is locked, yet it’s necessary to do so to avoid infection of a recent surgical wound
  • Swelling not only looks bad but also causes trouble in sipping fluids
  • You’ll have to sleep at an angle to avoid swelling and chocking too in fact

But don’t worry, everyone undergoes this phase and passes along perfectly.

Jaw Surgery Diet

Diet is one of the critical element after getting jaw surgery. You need to have liquids only initially as your jaw will be locked, however you need those liquids to be high in energy, proteins, minerals and vitamins, to assist the bone in healing fast and in best form.

Some of the tips for diet after jaw surgery include:

  • Milk shakes
    • But keep them thin, without froth if possible
    • Banana milk shake is great
    • Avoid shakes with fruit seeds and pieces in it, filter it before using if you want to
  • Thin soup, filtered
  • Thin custard, filtered
  • Molten icecream
  • Healthy protein shakes (not the gym related one, only the ones which you would give your kids under 10 years age to drink), e.g.
    • Ensure
    • Horlicks

Don’t drink too hot or too cold items. Especially during first 15 days of surgery as the wound is healing and needs good care.

Swelling after Jaw Surgery

Swelling is one of the most painful and irritating thing after the jaw surgery. Obviously you got a lot of bone and soft tissue cut and there is supposed to be swelling.

Few tips to take care of the swelling after jaw surgery are:

  • Walk as much as you can easily
  • Don’t lie down too much, starting from the right after surgery too, sit at an angle to the bed
  • Use vaseline petroleum gel to be applied on your swollen lips
  • Do normal neck movements, but make sure you don’t put stress on jaw or teeth at all

How long does it take for the swelling to go down after jaw surgery?

This can vary slightly from case to case, however the main gross swelling is gone within couple of weeks. The remaining face swelling can last up to 3 months or so but gradually keeps on reducing.

You can expect around 80-90% of swelling to be gone by the end of first month, out of which almost 40-50% swelling is gone by the end of first week.

How long do you have braces on after jaw surgery?

This will basically vary from case to case. In some cases, surgery is performed first and then the orthodontic treatment with braces is started, so it can take months to years after surgery in some cases.

However in many cases, surgery is performed near the end of the braces related treatment, thus you can expect braces to be removed in couple of months after the surgery and putting on retainers

Hopefully these tips will help you after your jaw surgery. If you have any questions or comments do let us know!

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