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Day 5 Post-op: Lower Jaw Surgery

Today was a good day. I saw a couple of friends, and talked (mumbled) way too much

I’m not sure what’s worse, hearing myself mumble, or having to repeat myself a million times. I think I’m going to make some flash cards with some common Q&A’s:


“What happen to you?” ~~~ Visit

“Are you in pain?” ~~~ Visit

“How long will you be like this?” ~~~ Visit

“Why aren’t you speaking to me?” ~~~ Visit

“Sir do you know how fast you were going?” ~~~ Visit


Swelling is still going down which I am grateful. Today I was able to feel the tip of my chin, and the sides of my jaw for the first time since the surgery. However, there’s one thing that’s a little troubling. When I move my fingertips up the right side of my face, I feel the bulge of my jaw bone overlapping each other. This wouldn’t be a problem expect for the fact that the left side doesn’t feel like that. I’m hoping we didn’t just move the structural damage from the misalignment of my teeth to the misalignment of my jaw.

I would think that if there were too much bone in my jaw, they would have cut it to out instead of just moving it so it sticks out from the back of my head.

 Is the disproportional jaw bone normal after having a mandibular osteotomy?

This a picture I took this evening…5 days after surgery.

Bubble Head_Day 4 Post-op: Lower Jaw Surgery

I slept well last night. It wasn’t amazing, but decent.

A friend stopped by because he needed to jump-start his car so I drove over (around the corner) to help him.

When I got back I showered, and went back to bed, after taking more medication, of course. It’s getting pretty old just sitting around the house drinking Ensure, taking medication, and sleeping. I’m hoping that by Monday I’ll be able to get some homework done.

This afternoon, as I was trying to slurp down my first meal (green drink), another friend Read more…

First Day After Surgery

8 am ————— I’m in and out of consciousness:

I slept pretty good last night seeing that I slept sitting at a 45*angle.  Pain level is at a 1 with 10 being the highest. I’m guessing I slept great because (1) I was on a lot pre and post operation drugs and (2) because I had been awake longer than 24 hours just prior to the surgery.

The first thing I had to drink or eat, was some
watered-down apple juice that gave me the hiccups. I felt like I was in the 5th grade again, hiccuping my head off after drinking a can of Pepsi.

When Dr. A (oral surgeon) stopped by to check on me, he said the hiccups were probably due to the medications, and that was normal. He also said that he was happy to see that the swelling was low, but that I should expect for my head to get bigger for the next 3 days, and then begin to decrease in size. “Keeping your face iced for the first day will help, but after that there’s not much you can do. Its going to get swollen.” Dr. A examined my mouth like a wire sculptor examines his finished product, and said, “Everything looks very good!”

Dr. A also explained a little more how I responded on the OR table. “You were a squirter,” he said.  “Every time we cut, blood would squirt out. The good thing is that you also clotted very well!” He also said, “I have never operated on someone with such a strong jaw!” (That made me proud, seeing that I stopped eating or drinking cow milk that’s suppose to be “great” for bone health.)

9 am————– 3 Asian doctors, whom I’ve never seen, came into my room and introduced themselves.

One of Drs. came around and took off the bloody jaw bra  from around my head and said, “Do you want to go home?” He continued and said that in an hour someone will be coming  to wheel me away to get some x-rays taken, and after that, I should be ready to go home around 12 noon. They were there for about 5 minutes or less, and left just as fast as they came. One of the good things about being at a teaching hospital is that you get a lot of hands on coverage because everyone is there to learn or experience something. As a result the level of complacency is almost non-existent. Nonetheless, I was happy to get the jaw bra off my head.

Today is Wednesday, and the last time I ate a real meal was Monday night, which included a $5 slice of  a Cookie and Cream Vegan Cake from the Whole Foods Market (it was very worth it). Though it has been a day and a half, I am not really hungry; however, I’m sure they must have been giving me something through that IV.

10:24 am ———- While I was being wheeled off to get the x-rays taken, we ran into Dr. Nathan (Intern Anesthesiologist) who was coming to see me. He just wanted to know how I was doing. I told him that I didn’t  remember the operation (a good thing), but only a brief conversation we had beforehand.

Before I left, I asked him how it went for him and he said, “everything was fine until you started waking up.” Apparently when I started to come around, I started kicking and thrashing, trying to pull out everything I was hooked up to. “It took 5 of us to hold you down!” he said. If he didn’t have such a serious look on his faced, I wouldn’t have believed him. We laughed it off,  and went our separate ways. I was happy to have worked with him.

X-rays are done and now I’m back in regular clothes. I will be discharged soon.  Going to make a stop at the grocery store and then the drug store. These are a couple of pictures just before I left the hospital.

The BIG Day: Lower Jaw Surgery

Ok, I checked into the hospital around 6:30am. As soon as I got there, they were ready to see me. I met about 20 people, from nurses to doctors, who would be assisting in the operation, half of which I never saw again.

Dr. Nathan (Intern Anesthesiologist) introduced himself as the one who will be keeping me comfortable during the procedure. After they giving me a minute to put on my gown, Nurse G. came back in as I was sitting on the bed, and rebuked me for still having my boxers on. She said, “You’re not supposed to leave your undies on sweetie!” As she stepped out again, I thought to myself, wow, I didn’t think wearing a gown involved some much commitment.  Anyways, I finally complied. Dr. J (Chief Resident) came around to my bedside, and showed me the document of everything that was going to be done, and then I signed it. He then he walked out and said, “I’ll see you later!” Nurse G came back in and inserted the VI, putting in a pre-solution that what would relax me before Dr. Nathan would do his magic. After that, a couple of nurses started asking me some simple questions like When’s my birthday? Why am I here today? and What days is it? The last thing I remember I’m wheeled off to the OR.

The next thing I remember is waking up being wheeled somewhere ( I later found out it was the Observation Unit). I heard faint voices saying, “contact his family.” Little did I know, 6 hours had passed elapsed (way to go Dr. Nathan). I didn’t have any pain, only my head was wrapped with ice and my jaw was stiff.

Here are some pictures just before surgery and right after the surgery.

The Night Before Surgery: A 12 hour Lockdown

Earlier today I received a phone call from the hospital nurse who gave me a run down of the does and dont’s before surgery.

12 am – No food, pain killers, or sleeping pills after this time; however,  water is okay.

4 am – No Water, Candy, or Cola after this time.

6 am – Check-in time

8am – Surgery  (Mandibular Osteotomy, Tori reduction, wisdom teeth extraction)

During operation you are not allowed any electronic devices, and you must removal all jewelry.

The surgery is scheduled for 3 hours (so I’m hoping I’ll be able to get something to eat by lunch time).  Afterwards the doctor is going to admit you into the hospital for a couple of days for observation. Visitation time ends at 10pm.

Not too bad of a schedule. Thanks for your prayer.

Cracking My Jaw: Lower Jaw Surgery (Before Pictures 2 Days Pre-op)

Ok so in a couple of days I’ll be having a Mandibular Osteotomy (lower jaw surgery) procedure done to fix my underbite and asymmetrical mandible. I’m pretty excited about it, and I have been told that though the adjustments are measured in millimeters, there will be a noticeable change in my appearance. Now that may or may not be a good thing depending on who you ask. I’m just happy I’ll be able to really chomp down on a Red Delicious apple, or a sandwich with more than just 8 teeth.

In these pictures you should be about to notice my underbite, and the asymmetry of my lower jaw. Before I got braces, about 10 months ago, you wouldn’t have been able to notice that much, but now that my teeth are straight you can definitely see that my jaw is crooked.  By the picture are in a gallery mode, so be sure to click on them. 

Impression Problems: Making An Emergency Trip To See The Oral Surgeon

The other day received a phone call from Dr. J (6th year Chief Resident)  asking if I could come into the clinic again because  there was a problem with my molds. Im thinking, yeah, go figure, that must of have been the the outcome of Dr. C’s  professional pride– messed up molds! Because  we were so close to the date of getting my jaw cracked, I made last minute plans to make another 3 hour trip. They asked some guy, I’m guessing “the expert mold person,” do the impressions again, but this time only one set.

Dr. A later came into the room, and told me that the first molds (done 2 weeks ago) indicated that there was not enough room in my mouth to move my jaw backwards; therefore he said, “we may need to keep you in braces a little longer, or somehow move your top teeth forward to get a better bite. However, lets take a look at these new molds, and see what we can do. I’ll call you, and let you know what we discover.”

The next day I got an email from Dr. A (yeah I know, it’s real professional) contraualaing me saying that the new molds came out really nice. However, there’s one thing, “we are going to have to remove your 3rd molars (wisdom teeth) to make room for your jaw movement.” So that’s it.  After he answered a couple more questions, I decided to go ahead with his suggestions: keep the operation date and remove all 4 wisdom teeth.  Yeah, the days of having all 32 teeth will soon come to an end. Oh well.  You win some, you lose some!

Ill put some pictures up soon of what my jaw and smile looks like now, so you’ll be able to track the transformation.


Last Visit Before Operation: Pre-surgical Work up

Pre-surgical work up 

The per-surgical work-up  normally takes place about 3 weeks before the actual surgery. Dr. A, the oral surgeon, basically took some impressions of my bite, as well as two copies of molds of my teeth (just like your orthodontist would do before getting your braces put on). The idea is that they will do surgery on the molds first and then… chan chan chan…on you. I’m getting my surgery done at the University of Michigan Medical Center (a 6 hour roundtrip). Dr. A is arguably one of the best oral surgeons within a 150 miles radius, who studied under some of the greatest in the field: Surgeons from Harvard who have had over 60 years of experience between them. By the way, did I mention that Dr. A is only 32 years old. He said he started early.

My pre-surgical work up was going well until doctor, Dr. C (a 5th resident), who was assisting by placing the wet molds in my mouth, didn’t press the mold high enough to get a good impression. After looking at it, he kind of shrugged it out and said, “I’ll do better on the next one.”  The next set of molds he pushed it up way too hard. So much so that I had a sudden urge  to backhand him. I quickly let him know he was going overboard, so he lightened up and apologized, then he said it was just a little bet of professional pride that kicked it. I’m thinking…what? Professional pride!? Are you kidding me? I’ll show you professional pride!

Sometimes there guys forget that they’re actually working on human being. I’ll forgive him …this time, especially since he won’t be preforming the surgery…rookie. Anyhow, he said the shallowness of the first molds really didn’t matter because all they need are the tips of my teeth where the top and bottom teeth come together.

I’m looking forward to getting the show on the road.

30 Days Pre-op: Getting Surgical Hooks

Surgical Hooks

I just saw my orthodontist, and got some cool surgical hooks placed on my braces. It’s kind of feels like I have a baby porcupine in my mouth. These hooks are little spikes, with rounded tips, placed on the wires that connect my teeth together. Since I’ve been in braces for about a year, I am already wearing my finishing wires. After getting the surgical hooks, my orthodontist scheduled my next appointment for July 9th, about 7 weeks post-op.

My oral surgeon, Dr. A,  said my mouth will be wired shut for about 6 weeks (ie smoothies for 6 weeks), and he’ll be using these hooks to secure the wire around my teeth to keep my jaw in place. There’s gonna be about be about a week overlap from the time my teeth are unwire to when I’ll get the hooks taken off.

Though I won’t have to be drinking smoothies anymore, I will only be able to eat soft food until I get my jaw muscles built up again.