Ask me any Jaw Surgery question!

The Jaw Surgery Blog is almost ready to go live!

I’ve got all the videos converted, now it’s just a matter of uploading and getting the final tweaks done.

In fact, I’m creating the FAQ (frequently asked questions) page right now, and I need your help.

Ask me absolutely any burning question you have about any part of the jaw surgery process.

Not only will I answer you personally, but I will also include it on the FAQ page, because there are probably a ton of people out there with your exact same question.

Don’t worry, all of the questions will be listed generically and anonymously, and you don’t even have to use your real name in the comments.

To ask a question (or multiple questions), just click here to get your answer.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • James

    Hi man, can you tell me if your nose changed much after upper jaw surgery?

  • Hey James,

    My nose didn’t change much after everything settled down, but for the first few weeks, it was obviously pretty large from all the swelling.

    Just let me know if you have any other questions.

  • Lorna


    Yes, my nose is very swollen too – at least I hope so. I’m about 3 weeks post op. Do you think it will settle down around 6 to 8 weeks with swelling on my nose?

  • What’s up Lorna,

    Depending on how drastic your surgery was, the swelling can take months to completely go away. If you saw how enormous my face was right after the surgery, I felt the same way, like it was never going to go back to normal.

    For me, I’d say it took about 6 months for everything to feel completely “settled,” but most other people couldn’t tell a difference after only 2-3 months. And again, if your surgery wasn’t quite as involved, 6-8 weeks is definitely reasonable to expect much of the swelling to be gone.

    If you have any other questions, just let me know, and good luck with the healing process!

  • GK

    whats going on man, i just have a question regarding the braces. Did you ever get them when you were younger? i never had braces before so i was just wondering if it would take longer for them to be on. And your total cost for the surgery process was only 5,000?? (not including the braces and insurance coverage)..thanks man!

  • What’s up GK,

    I never got braces when I was younger, since my teeth were never too out of line. They definitely weren’t perfect, but it was more a total jaw/skull misalignment, which was too severe to correct with braces alone.

    Each case is different obviously and depending on your current bite and how much pre-surgery adjustments need to be made, the average time for braces beforehand can range anywhere from 6 months to 2 years.

    I had to wear mine for just over a year prior to surgery, and a little over another year afterward.

    And my total cost for EVERYTHING (braces, co-pay, lab fees, etc.) was only about $5,000-6,000, since the actual surgery was covered almost completely by my insurance.

    Again, this completely depends on a case-by-case basis how much they will cover, or if they’ll cover any of it at all, but my jaw was deemed freakish enough to be medically necessary!

  • sabrina

    Hi my name is sabrina I´m from Argentina and looking by youtube I foung you and I´m really impressed on you changes.
    Now my question is…
    How painfull was the post operation? because I´m really scared about it
    Thank you for have made this space to help the people that is going to teke this sugery.
    All my best wishes for you and sorry for horrible english

  • What’s up Sabrina,

    Your English is great, much better than my Argentinian 😉

    For me, the entire operation was completely painless. It was definitely very uncomfortable at times with the pressurized feeling from all the swelling, but as far as actual pain, I didn’t have any at all.

    And I only took the pain pills for the first 48 hours, but I’m sure it could be different for everyone. I really hope yours is as painless as mine was!

  • Simon

    Hi Brandon.
    (Greetings from Sweden)

    At this time I have already done the moulds, measurement on my face etc. And are now waiting to see whether the correction of my teeth will be paid by the county council or not.

    But because of the fact that this was done this last summer ( june 2008) and the fact that I really havn’t seen anyone that have done the whole thing until now, I’ve been to scared to even consider doing it myself.

    And since it’s been some time now, I dont really remember what they were planing on doing to correct the crookedness of my jaw. Seeing that I have a similar case of underbite which has grown crooked to one side as you had.
    I now have a question regarding what they did to correct your lower crooked jaw, did they make the lower jaw smaller somehow?.

    And how could just some rubberbands correct the midline?, was that to train the muscles in the right way?

    And by the way have you heard of anyone having had any type of complications with the entire procedure?

    Thanks again Brandon

  • Hi Simon,

    For me, they cut a sliver of my lower jaw out, since it was so long, then moved the remaining portion back and bolted them back together. Also, they did the opposite for my upper jaw, bringing it forward and correcting the diagonal crookedness as well.

    The rubberbands work after the surgery by gradually pulling your teeth in whichever direction they need to go, and after surgery, there was only a very slight discrepancy anyway.

    Yes, there are definitely complications and risks possible, but that’s true of any surgery. I was lucky enough to sail through relatively smoothly, and I really believe that if you are comfortable and confident in your surgeon and do just what you’re supposed to, recovery is almost always fast and effective.

    If you have any other questions, just let me know, and I would absolutely recommend the surgery, since I would do it again in a heartbeat, especially if you’re able to get financial aid.

    Good luck!

  • Jeff

    Hi Brandon,

    Thanks for this neat site. I’m planning to have jaw surgery, probably in about 4 months. I saw the surgeon for a consultation. He will move my lower jaw forward and might also widen my upper jaw. I guess I have a lot of questions, but for now I’d like to just ask 2. What’s it like living with jaws wired shut? I’m told it may be required for up tp 2 weeks. Is it not as bad as it sounds? Are you able to go out in public, like just the grocery store, or would people just stare at you too much? Is there a risk of choking on your vomit, because of the nausea, or is that really rare? How is it living on a luquid-only diet? Do you feel kind of light-headed and weak, or is it not so bad? I guess those are biggest worries, but I’m with a good surgeon and ortho and I’m extremely cooperative and fairly young (33) , so I think I’ll do good. One more question- what was the worst single part of the ordeal for you?



  • Hi Jeff,

    For me, having my jaw wired shut was the hardest part, since I was fortunate enough to not have any pain from the surgery. Being wired shut was definitely worth the end result, and I would do it again, but FIVE weeks can seem like a LONG time to be clamped shut! 🙂

    If yours is closer to 2 weeks, it shouldn’t be too bad, because that’s right around the time when it really started to get frustrating for me, since it obviously made talking and eating very difficult.

    I was able to go out to the grocery store and stuff within about a week or two, but if you’re swelling is as big as mine and lasts as long, people will definitely stare, haha. I personally didn’t mind, but that’s completely up to you.

    I’m sure choking on your vomit is really rare, and I imagine even if you did throw up, you could just lean forward and let it run down the insides of your cheeks (how appetizing!), through the same spots at the back of your teeth where you will be “eating” while wired shut.

    The liquid only diet isn’t bad for the first week or two, but I started to REALLY crave real food after that. I was never light-headed or weak, since I was still getting a lot of calories and nutrients, but not having any solid food can be challenging if you like to eat like I do, not to mention, it does a number on the “plumbing” too…

    The worst single part of the entire process for me only lasted about 5 seconds, but with a name like Jeff, I’m assuming you’ll have to deal with it too: Removing the catheter. You may have already experienced this, since it’s a part of many surgeries, but it was my first time and more shocking than anything else, since I hadn’t even realized I had a catheter in the first place. Very unpleasant, but at least it’s like a band-aid, and the discomfort only lasts for a few seconds.

    I hope that clears a few things up. Keep me updated on your progress, and just let me know if you have any other questions.

    Good Luck!

  • Karl

    It’s been 3 weeks since me upper and lower jaw surgery. How long do I wait before I can go back to work?

  • Karl

    I wasn’t wired shut the dr used rubber bands to keep me from opening. Now 5 weeks along. The pain is not bad at all! I did it all without pain meds because I’m allergic to them! So I took lots of advil and ice constantly. The ice really saved me. I need to work but my dr says to give it another 2 weeks! I operate heavy machinary over the summer and school in the fall! Does the dr sound about right? I know he did a wonderful job and he graduated from johns hoppcins but what do u guys think? Just call me the ice man

  • Hey Ice Man,

    Technically, the surgeon used bands on me too, but “wired shut” gets the point across, since rubber bands sounds to some people like there was still movement allowed. With mine, there were several tight bands, so that the jaws could not move a millimeter, nothing very “rubber” about them, haha. Although, depending on the severity of the surgery, some people aren’t wired shut as tightly or even at all.

    I’m glad the pain wasn’t bad, even without the medication, just like my experience. I think a lot of people find it hard to believe that such a major surgery can be relatively painless — uncomfortable though, yes!

    Above all, I would absolutely listen to whatever your surgeon says. He is the most familiar with your specific case, and the last thing you want now is any complications that would prolong the process. Just hang tight until he gives you the green light, and you’ll be back to normal in no time.

    Congrats on a successful surgery!

  • Danny

    Finacial Aid. I have been to several consultations discussing surgery and my situation. The doctor said that it will be over $15,000 to complete and it will not be covered by insurance. This is more money than my family or myself can afford. My question, is there any finacial aid or such programs available? If so please let me know about them.


  • fern aka DiCK

    who performed your surgery?
    I would like to set up a consultation with the surgeon who did your jaw work.

    Thanks 😉

  • Hey Danny,

    If you have a consultation with an actual orthognathic surgeon, they should be able to tell you whether your situation can be covered by insurance. Sometimes, even if insurance is initially rejected, if the surgeon can show that it’s a severe enough problem, the insurance company will reverse their decision.

    But if your case isn’t quite as severe, then it’s considered a cosmetic surgery, which I don’t think there is any financial aid or coverage for.

  • Hey Fern,

    My surgeon’s name is Dr. Wlodawksy located in Richmond, Virginia, and I recommend him 110%!

  • fern aka DiCK

    thanks. great results, your face looks amazing now. a very dramatic outcome.

  • Erika

    I was wondering how soon after your surgery you were able to do any type of cardio. I am a runner and wasn’t sure how long I would be out. I am also having both my upper and lower jaw broken. Thanks for all the information you’ve provided.

  • Hey Erika,

    I started to get back into some light body-weight work around 2 months after surgery, then I slowly progressed back to full workouts and sprints over the next month.

  • jaime ramirez

    i got the surgery 3 weeks ago on june 3rd 2008 i was wondering how long before i feel my lower lip and chin thanks for the help

  • Hey Jaime,

    Congrats on a successful surgery!

    As for my lips, those took about 3 months to get back to about 75% which was enough to comfortably eat again while being able to feel if something was touching my lip. It took a full six months for my lips to get back to 100%, but again, I didn’t miss that 25% in the meantime much at all.

    As for my whole face, that took a bit longer than my lips, but only by a month or two. For me, the feeling seemed to radiate out in a circle starting from my lips, then the skin right around my lips, then down to chin and up to my cheekbones.

    Everyone’s healing and recovery rate will obviously be different, but the average times seem to be anywhere from 3 months to over a year to gain 100% feeling back.

  • fern aka DiCK

    Just to be clear, you got the Lefort I surgery and Bilateral saggital split osteotomy, right?


  • There wasn’t anything clear about that to me, Fern! haha 🙂

    Honestly, I’m not sure what the technical terms for what I had done were, but in layman’s terms:

    1. My upper jaw was moved forward and the diagonal/slant was corrected.
    2. A piece of my lower jaw was cut out, so it could be moved back, then bolted back together with titanium plates.

  • Karl

    I had upper and lower jaw surgery done about 2mons ago. I’ve been getting friekwent headaches since the surgery. I’m wondering if this is common. Thanks karl from las vegas

  • Hey Karl,

    Congrats on a successful surgery!

    I didn’t get headaches, but I’ve only had a couple in my entire life, so I’m sure some people are more headache-prone than others. Have you talked to your surgeon about it in your post-op follow-up visits? There may be a connection, or it could be something else entirely.

  • June

    Hi Brandon. Thanks for all the information you have on your website. It’s been helpful. I am in the pre-surgery phase. Actually, I am just starting and I get my braces on next week. I have a question about the plates and screws they use. Do you feel them or notice them? Are you even aware they are there? It just wondered if it was strange feeling to have something foreign in your face. I will need both upper and lower jaw surgery like you did, only I have a class II bite. Thanks, June

  • Hi June,

    Nope, I don’t notice them at all, except on dental X-ray’s, I look like a Terminator! haha

    But I just went through a metal detector for the first time since surgery a few weeks ago, and it didn’t even go off, so that’s a good sign too!

  • Thanks for all the questions everyone! I love answering them and helping any way I can, but things are starting to get a bit crowded and unorganized in here, so I finished getting the forums up and running. The comments here are now closed, so please ask your questions in the forums.

    I’ll still respond just as quickly, and this will keep things nice and neat, so our exchange can help other people searching for answers too.

    If you have any problems or questions about logging in or trouble with the forums, just contact me, and I’ll be glad to help you help others!