When undergoing jaw surgery, a lot of patients wonder how long it will take to heal after surgery and what they should expect during recovery. It is natural to be curious about how long you will need to be away from school or work, how long it will be before you are back on your feet, and the level of discomfort you will experience during recovery before you can feel like yourself again.
For the better part, predicting healing and recovery times after jaw surgery will be determined on a case by cases basis, and varies from patient to patient. With that being said, here are several general answers to the most commonly asked questions a lot of patients ask about recovery after corrective jaw surgery.
How Long Should I Expect To Be In Hospital?
The amount of time you spend in the hospital will depend on the type of surgery you undergo, how well you can tolerate pain, and how quickly you heal. Once you are no longer in need of on-demand pain relief, you should be fit to get discharged from the hospital. This is usually after two to three days for adults, and overnight for teens.
How Painful is the Procedure?
As unbelievable as this may sound, the truth is, jaw surgery is not that painful, so you don’t have to worry about experiencing excruciating pain. Some people will feel some level of discomfort because of the jaw’s new positioning, but it won’t be that painful.
Before surgery, your doctor will give you a prescription of all the medications you’ll need throughout post-surgery recovery. It is advisable that you have your prescription filled before undergoing surgery so that all the medicine you need is ready for once you return home. The prescribed medication will help control swelling and minimize discomfort.
Apart from the swelling and minor pain following your jaw surgery, which will be controlled by the medication given, your nerves will also be slightly bruised, meaning they’ll feel little to no pain at all. By the time they return to normal, the jaw’s healing process will already be well underway, and all discomforts will have gone away.
Will I Swell? And If So, How Long Will It Last?
Once you get back home, you’ll likely experience some swelling for the first two weeks after surgery. In some people, slight swelling will remain for a couple of months until their jaw heals completely.
How Long Does It Take For The Jaw To Heal After Surgery?
It’ll take about Three months for your jaw to heal completely.
Will I Be Able To Eat Anything I Like After Jaw Surgery?
Immediately after surgery, you’ll be limited to a 100% dairy-free liquid diet. For the first ten days, your menu will be restricted to homemade fruit smoothies, and dairy-free protein shakes only. For most people, smoothies will need to be administered via a syringe as chewing won’t be allowed during the first days of the healing period.
Your surgeon will inform you of when it is alright for you to start chewing again. Once you have been given the green light, you will only be able to eat soft foods like mashed potatoes and pasta as your jaws aren’t strong enough yet. However, it is worth noting that it will take some time before you can return to your normal diet. The progress you make in this area will depend on how fast your body heals.
There are also a couple of things that we would advise you to pay close attention to after surgery. It is vital that you stay well hydrated after your surgery, so make sure that you are drinking plenty of water. At the same time, make sure that you’re ingesting adequate amounts of fiber during recovery. Both fiber and hydration intake are vital in ensuring that your digestive system runs smoothly.