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Updated Frequently Asked Jaw Surgery Questions page, plus About Me

Hello fellow Jaw Surgeristas!

I just updated the FAQ page, including the juicy “How much does it cost?” question. Click here to check it out.

Also, there’s more information than you’d ever want to know about me, along with before and after pictures from the surgery, here: About Me

Don’t forget to subscribe to the RSS Feed to be updated automatically on the latest jaw surgery news and videos.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Darius Chiorano

    so how much does the surgery cost??….and my face is startin to look deformed i dont know if its a problem with my jaw or my teeth..both sides of my jaw look like blown up baloons..my face is alwaz so swolen i forgot wut it looks like…..wut do i do..i got to the doctor they take x-rays n dont c anything but now theres a huge bump growing where my joint is by my ear and it keeps gettin bigger…..what do i do?????

  • As for cost, check the FAQ page here: http://www.jawsurgeryblog.com/faq/

    The way you describe the growing bump sounds like it appeared since your last doctor visit. If that’s the case, I would definitely suggest getting that checked out immediately.

  • GK

    Hey What’s Up man!

    I’m thinking about going ahead with this whole process myself, and saw that your whole surgery (braces/surgery) cost a lot cheaper than the other people’s i’ve checked out (ranging around 20k-50k). I’m thinking my condition is pretty bad itself ( underbite sticks out like a bulldog and slighlty crooked as i got older) so i pretty sure i’m a good candidate for the medical reason of the surgery. Not to be an ass, but i just have a couple questions:

    1. I was wondering what made you a good candidate for medical reasons? I myself have a hard time talking (mumbling a lot due to the underbite) and have a hard time eating so do you think that would be good enough to be considered for medical?

    2.how much of a difference it made for you eating wise, have u been able to eat a lot more food now that you’ve got the surgery than before?

    3. did u lose any feeling/nerve around the jaw area after the surgery?

    4. finding an oral surgeon is hard for this type of surgery, so i was wondering who is your oral surgeon (for future references)? and should i consult a regular dentist for braces before even going for the oral surgeon?

    5. and the most important one would be how is your luck with the ladies, now that you’re done with the surgery? lol

  • What’s up GK,

    1. Like I said, I’m sure it varies a lot, based on a million different factors, but as soon as the orthodontist saw my mutant jaw, he said it wouldn’t be a problem getting it cleared as medical. In fact, I think when the surgeon submitted the case, it was approved on the first go round. You sound like a similar case with the underbite AND crookedness like I had, so you may get “lucky” too.

    2. HUGE difference eating wise, and I would trade the increase in chewing efficiency for the cosmetic changes any day. Since it had happened so gradually, I never really knew what I was missing, but, like I said, it’s like having a blender in my mouth now!

    3. I’m pretty sure everyone loses feeling directly after the surgery, but it comes back slowly. Mine took about 6 months to really feel “normal” again, though getting to 100% can take over a year. There are a small percentage of people who have permanent numbness in very small spots, but I can honestly say even if I was in that small percentage, it would have been worth it anyway.

    4. Finding the right surgeon is crucial, since this is such a serious and complex surgery, so I’d suggest seeing a few and asking as many questions as you can. Don’t be afraid to ask how many times they’ve performed the surgery, as you probably don’t want to be their just-out-of-school guinea pig. The thing I liked best about my surgeon is that not only does he specialize in this specific surgery, he actually teaches newcomers how to perform it. Give me the teacher over the student any day! For the braces, you’ll consult an orthodontist and you can see either one first, since they work together throughout the whole process anyway. Oh, and my surgeon’s name was Dr. Wlodawsky and orthodontist was Dr. Chip Anderson, both located in Richmond, Virginia, and I would HIGHLY recommend both of them to anyone.

    5. I still haven’t quite gotten used to the “I love your smile” or “nice teeth” compliments, since I never would have expected them before, but I have yet to come across a woman that said, “Eww, your jaw is way too straight and properly aligned!” so you should only move up in that department.

  • This site is SWEET. I’m signed up!

    Surgery for me is in 45 days. This site could not have been created at a better time!

  • Thanks Joe, just checked out your video and it sounds like you’re ready to go.

    Best of luck and just let me know if you need anything!

  • brook

    hey…I like this site its awesome..you woulnt believe how many hrs ive been on youtube looking at videos. However it seems 90% of everyone having there surgeries are because of an underbite? im just in the process of everything starting…went to the ortho the other day and got all my fancy pics taken lol…First Ill be starting out with my insanely impacted wisdom teeth removal, then get my braces on…..then in almost a yr after that ill have to have surgery on my lower jawto bring it forward and few months after that ill have surgery on my upper jaw to fix the “canter” smile i have which basically means its extremely slanted..so they will take a piece of my jaw out and straighten it….saw some animations of what they do for the upper…..not a fan but I will do it. they said itll be a 2 yr process. im excited.

  • Thanks Brook!

    Yeah, underbite does seem to be more common, but there are still plenty of overbite cases too. I’m glad you’re excited, and you sound like you’ve really done your research, so it will all be over before you know it.

    Good luck with everything and feel free to check in here anytime along the way with questions and/or updates.

  • John

    Hi Brandon!

    I had jaw surgery 2 months ago, and i would like to know when is the right time to start my workout training again?

  • What’s up John,

    I know you’re ready to blast back in the gym like I was! But it’s REALLY important to talk to your surgeon about this and follow his guidelines on when to return, because the last thing you want to do is strain to the point that you reopen any of the wounds in your mouth that may still be healing.

    Once he gives you the OK, start back really slow with just bodyweight exercises for the first week or two, then slowly work your way back up.

    And thanks to “muscle memory,” you’ll be back in pre-surgery shape before you know it!

  • Tony Cortese

    Hey Brandon,

    This is Tony Cortese of California and I had the surgery done on April 1st, 2009 at UCSF. I had a 7 hour surgery because of my underbite. My surgeon could not go ahead with the plan he wanted because the nerve on my mandible was way to high and it would have severed the nerve causing me to be permenantly numb. So instead of 2 weeks rubber banded shut I am 6 weeks wired shut. I know you were 5 weeks but you are the closest to my case than anyone else.

    What I was wondering is when you got your wires off, how long did it take your muscles in your mouth to return back to opening your jaw completely?

  • What’s up Tony,

    Yeah, mine took about 6 hours, but I knew ahead of time that I would need to be wired shut for 4-6 weeks.

    When you first get the wires off, it’s a very weird feeling, almost like your lower jaw is just going to fall off, haha, not painful, just strange. Also, when you open your mouth, it will feel like it’s pretty wide open, but if you look in a mirror, you’ll see that you’re barely opening it at all.

    Like you said, the muscles definitely need time to readjust, after being out of use for so long. It took me about 2 weeks of eating a lot of salmon and bananas (soft food you can chew with your tongue), then I progressed to harder foods for the next 2 weeks, so it took about 4 weeks all together after being unwired.

    You can view these two videos of when I had just been unwired:

    http://www.jawsurgeryblog.com/jaw-surgery-day-36-finally-not-wired-shut/
    http://www.jawsurgeryblog.com/after-jaw-surgery-day-43-best-food-for-now/

  • Tony Cortese

    ok cool haha thanks for the info…I can’t wait…I have a week from today…it’s going to be great. Have a good one

  • Brikena, SA, Australia

    Hey,
    Oh my god.. my Jaw surgery is in 5 days and im freaking outt!!
    im having it done because of my overbite, it’s 8mm and they need to push it forward.. im scared it will hurt and im going to Albania in 4 weeks, will the swelling be down a bit by then and will i be albe to talk normally by then?
    please help me? =(
    thankyouuu//

  • What’s up Brikena,

    Cool name, and stop freaking out! haha

    Like I said in my latest video, I was terrified before surgery too, but it really does go by really quickly, and you’ll be fine in no time.

    It sounds like you’re just having surgery on one jaw, right? If so, that should speed up your healing time significantly. I had surgery on top and bottom at the same time, so I had to be wired shut for 5 weeks, which would have made traveling very difficult and uncomfortable.

    Have you talked to your surgeon about your upcoming trip and asked how long you’ll be wired shut? I would definitely let them know if you haven’t already, since he can give you a much better answer in your specific case.

    Let me know how it goes, and good luck!

  • Brikena, SA, Australia

    Yes, thankyou for the reply.
    Yes, only the bottom jaw.
    They didn’t say anything about putting wires in my mouth. :|
    But hopefully everything will go okay. I’m just scraed it will hurt after.. i hate pain.!! =( =(

    BTW.. how did u eat when u had ur wires closing your jaw? :S:S for 5 weeks… WOW..!!

    take care.

  • Don’t worry, Brikena, just keep the pain meds nearby! :)

    I was lucky in that I never experienced any pain throughout the whole process, but as long as you follow the doctor’s orders, you should be fine too.

    Eating with your mouth wired shut is a little challenging and frustrating, haha. It involves a syringe, but no needles, thankfully! Instead of a needle, you attach a plastic tube, about the size of a straw, and maneuver that along the sides of your clenched teeth (between outside of teeth and inner cheek) all the way to the back. There is a space behind your back teeth where you can position the opening of the tube, then squeeze the contents of the syringe right down your throat.

    I know it sounds gross and/or complicated, but believe me, when it’s your only way to eat, you learn to love it really quickly! My favorites were yogurt, applesauce, and watered-down peanut butter, which sounds nasty, but tastes surprisingly just like regular peanut butter and is one of the few sources of good protein on an all-liquid diet.

    Again, good luck, and just let me know if you have any other questions.

  • Brikena, Australia

    Hello, I’m getting ready for hospital, i went to see the surgeons today, i feel better now. My operation is tomorow morning im the first one on the list they said i might stay a few days until friday morning.
    They said they might not operate on my chin, unless my profile looks a bit wierd.
    But i’ll get abck to u soon as possible and tell you how i feel maybe i can comparee.. myself?
    See you later ok
    take care.

  • Great to hear Brikena, I’m sure everything will go great. I stayed in the hospital for two days after surgery, which they usually do with the more severe cases just to monitor and make sure there aren’t any complications.

    Definitely let me know how it goes, and good luck!

  • brikena

    heyyy im back home now, the operation went great as soon as i got out of the operation i was talking, just slowly..
    i dnt have any pain at all they gave me alot of pain killers and mouth washes im just a bit swollen. and i cnt laugh thats the probelm… i love laughing

  • Awesome, that’s great Brikena! I’m glad everything went well, and you’ll be smiling and laughing again in no time.

  • Celeste

    Hey!
    I’m SO glad I found this website. I had jaw surgery on May 13, 2009. They corrected both upper and lower (except I had the opposite of you… lower was moved foward, upper was moved back) as well as extracted my two remaining wisdom teeth. I’m banded shut for about six weeks, I believe. The swelling is beginning to go down, but I still feel like a “swamp monster” (I’m so glad someone else had the ‘monster’ feeling! Hah) and I can’t talk very well.
    How long did it take you be able to, well, go out/feel normal/speak correctly? I feel okay (slightly fatigued, but that’s to be expected) but I can’t speak or not slobber long enough to feel okay going out in public. I’m starting to get cabin fever, and I have to start a job sooner than later! Can you give me any idea of your timeline for numbness/lip functioning?

  • Congrats on a successful surgery Celeste!

    The wired shut period is by far the most restrictive and frustrating, since it makes it harder to explain to people why you look like a swamp monster, haha.

    So, once those 6 weeks are up, there will be a big improvement right away. That’s also around the time I started to get most of the feeling back around my lips, which takes care of the drooling dog syndrome that I definitely had too!

    I hope that helps, and let me know how the un-wiring goes, or if you have any other questions.

    Good luck!

  • sam

    hi brandon, i am really glad i found this site because i am getting the second phase of my braces on in two months. i’m really freaked out about the surgery, it will be in about 1 1/2-2 yrs., so it’s crazy that i’m already so scared, right? but i mean, i already have a fear of needles…i just want my underbite fixed so badly but i am so afraid of getting the surgery. how did you overcome your fear enough to get it done? also, you mentioned your cheekbones being more defined…that would be cool, what did your doc say about that? sorry this is so long..thanks

  • Hi Sam,

    Not crazy at all, I was scared from the moment I first looked at the pamphlet, before even getting braces, haha. I don’t like needles either, but luckily, you’re completely unconscious during the whole surgery, so the only needle I encountered was when they ran a few pre-surgery blood tests about 2 weeks before the surgery.

    Once you really begin the process, I think you’ll just push through like I did, then when surgery day comes, just get to the hospital and know that it will all be over in a few hours. I’ve said several times that I was terrified the morning of surgery, and my heart rate was through the roof in the last-minute pre-surgery tests, haha, but as soon as laid down in the surgery waiting room bed, they started feeding me the “happy gas” and next thing I knew, the surgery was over.

    For the cheekbones, it depends on whether or not your surgeon feels the need to bring your upper jaw forward, which would also bring your cheekbones a little farther forward, making them more prominent. Some people only need one jaw moved though, depending on their specific bite.

  • sam

    wow, thanks for writing back so quickly! i meant to ask you before if it was difficult for you to adjust after the surgery. i’ve read that some people have psychological problems after, dealing with their change in appearance, and you don’t look all that different, but i was just curious

  • Daniel

    Hey mate great website, very informative. I’ll be going in for surgery to correct my overbite at some stage in October/November… Well thats the plan anyway, but I’m having second thoughts. One of the possible risks from surgery is nerve damage. I’m studying music at college and trumpet is my instrument, so obviously I can’t afford to lose any feeling in my lips. Having my jaw realigned is already going to affect my playing, but it’s something that I could overcome and get used to… Losing feeling in my lips isn’t!

    I don’t know what the chances of nerve damage are, I’ll have to discuss with my surgeon. Just wondering if you had any issues with nerve damage or if you have lost any feeling in your face? How long did it take until you got feeling back in your lips again?

  • Hi Sam,

    No problem, glad to help. I read the same thing about people having adjustment issues to their new appearance, but I’m assuming that’s in a very small percentage of cases in which the patients already had some issues to begin with.

  • Hey Daniel,

    Second thoughts are definitely normal, I had thirds and fourths and fifths! :)

    The numbness in my lips took nearly 6 months to return to 100%, but they were up to about 75% in only half that time. I can’t play the trumpet, but I would guess even at only 75%, it shouldn’t affect your playing too much, since I could feel everything by that point. It was really more of a tingling by then.

    Of course, there’s always the risk of losing more, especially in your case, so it’s definitely worth bringing up your specific situation with your surgeon.

  • sara

    hi
    thanx for ur support
    i had upper jaw surgery and it has bin 4 moths since i had it done
    the thing im worried about is that i feel the part that is between the nose and upper lip a little to big and hard:/
    did u feel this way and when did this feeling go ?

  • Hi Sara,

    Do you mean that knob on your upper gum? Mine was huge for a few weeks, but it went down with the rest of the swelling. Has the rest of your swelling already gone down?

    I know my surgeon said if that spot doesn’t go down (because again, it was huge!), then it’s just a simple shaving down that he can do, which sounds unpleasant, but he said it’s very quick, easy, and painless.

  • 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!