Jaw surgery is an intense and major operative procedure. This means before and after surgery; certain plans need to be followed so that both the surgery and your recovery after are a success.
We’ll go through the key things you need to know before a jaw surgery to be best prepared, and what to do after jaw surgery to ensure a successful recovery.
Two Weeks Before Jaw Surgery
With two weeks to go before the surgery. It’s important to start following your doctor’s advice on what medication can be taken and what diet to follow.
Drugs such as aspirin that can thin the blood and cause abnormal bleeding should be avoided at this point. There are other drugs, and it’s good to consult your doctor on which specific ones should be avoided.
Smoking should be avoided at all costs and now’s the time when you should plan out the logistics so you have someone who can take you to the hospital, be there with you, and then bring you back for home recovery.
You’ll have to have hooks applied one week before surgery so now’s a good time to book the appointment with your orthodontist for this procedure.
One week before
One week before your surgery is when many pre-operative procedures and checks will be conducted.
This means x-rays will be taken of your jaw as well as impressions. You’ll go through the necessary physical checkups and bloodwork to ensure you’re fit for surgery and an up to date medical history will be taken.
Legal aspects such as gathering your consent for surgery also happens here, and final details on when you should show up to be prepped for surgery will be shared during this week.
24 hours before
The day before surgery will be the ‘cleanse’ period for you.
This means you’ll have to fast and not eat or drink anything at least 12 hours before surgery. This will be when you stop taking any medications to prevent any adverse reactions during surgery unless directed to by your doctor.
Pack any clothing you’ll need to take to the hospital such as comfortable clothes, medical documents, etc. You should leave any valuables at home, including any jewelry you wear frequently.
A few hours before the surgery, you can choose to brush your teeth and take a shower before heading to the hospital.
After Jaw Surgery
Once the surgery is done, you’ll spend the next few weeks recovering from the procedure. During this time you’ll have to pay special attention to a few things to ensure a quick and successful recovery back to good health.
Follow any medications that were prescribed by your doctor and only use pain medications as recommended by your orthodontist. Some of these may be painful to ingest but they are required to help speed up your recovery and prevent any infections.
Your mouth may be able to open a little but it’ll hurt and chewing especially can be painful. Therefore, for the first 6 to 8 weeks it’ll be a liquid diet.
This means you’re only consuming food that doesn’t need to be chewed, similar to what a baby diet is.
Aim to eat blended and liquid foods. Anything soft or small enough to be mashed up also works. Soups, scrambled eggs, ice cream, and even fine pasta are good.
The key is to avoid moving the jaw and giving it ample rest to quickly heal. Food that’s high in calories and protein will boost recovery so try to get plenty of those in your diet.
Eating can also be painful when done for prolonged periods. It’s better to have more frequent meals in smaller portions to help with this.
Oral hygiene will be important post-surgery to help avoid any nasty infections. This means you’ll have to brush and rinse each day. Doing this extensively will hurt so you’ll have to start small with a little bit of toothpaste, mouthwash, and subtle brush movements. Try to avoid any mechanical toothbrushes as the intense vibrations to your jaw will cause pain.
Any surgery is traumatic to the body and will require ample rest for recovery. This applies for jaw surgery as well so take the first week easy. You should be able to resume most of your daily activities after the first week but avoid any intense physical activities or anything that may cause injury to the face. As a result, our advice is to stay away from any sports that increase the risk of injury.