Two days ago I went to see my orthodontist so he could put on my surgical hooks. They're weird, like they're kinda flimsy and just generally not what I would expect from something that is going to keep me wired shut after jaw surgery. I was also surprised to find out that everyone in the office was aware that my surgery was quickly approaching. Creeps. Anyway, we took some pictures and x-rays and I was out of there in about an hour.
After that we went to my pre-op appointment with my surgeon. We were 45 minutes early so we sat in the waiting room reading lame doctor's office magazines for what seemed like forever. When it got close to my appointment time a lady took me to the back to take more
x-rays and get dental impressions made. Yuck! What is that terrible pink stuff they use for molds?! She sent me back out to the waiting room, but pretty soon they brought me back to another office, took more
pictures, and the doctor came in. I, being the control freak that I am, had done numerous hours of research before the appointment and had compiled a list of twelve questions on top of the fifty-something that I printed out from this
website. Thankfully, my surgeon and his assistant were more than happy to answer my questions. And they gave me this suede tote bag too! I was thinking, "Okay cool; there's a water bottle, chapstick, liquid diet cook book, etc. WHOA! They gave me a $25 gift card to Best Buy! SWEET!"
I'm totally having surgery more often.
Then we went to the hospital to fill out paperwork and take blood. Ugh. I'm not a baby about needles or anything, but the lady who stuck me couldn't find a vein or something and pulled it out a little and put it back in like five times. No big deal though, since she's not going to be my anesthesiologist.
So, I did get a few of my questions answered by the surgeon today.
1. The medical name for my surgery is Lefort I and Bilateral Sagittal Split Osteotomy.
2. I WILL NOT HAVE A SPLINT!
Technically, he said there's a less than 50% chance I will have a splint, and that's good enough for me.
My surgeon also seemed really optimistic about everything, saying that I would only have to stay in the hospital one night and I wouldn't really need to be on a liquid diet-- soft foods will do. He thinks the surgery will probably take about 2.5 hours, he will not being doing a genioplasty or rhinoplasty, and he will be taking out my wisdom teeth at the same time.
I have to be at the hospital at 5:00 a.m.
I probably won't sleep any the night before the surgery anyway.
All in all, the day felt very productive and I'm glad I got a lot of my questions answered, including the following:
Q. How long have you been practicing as a surgeon?
A. Are you really going to make me show my age? 30 years.
Q. Will there be much pain?
A. Not really. They're going to keep you really doped up at the hospital. Any "pain" you might feel is probably going to be some pressure and your sinuses will be all out of whack.
Q. Will there be much bruising or swelling?
A. It just depends, because everyone swells differently. When I see you at your one week post-op appointment you might think you're really swollen, but as your doctor I might not think so. As for bruising, you probably won't see anything dark, but you may have yellowish bruises around your mouth or as far down as your chest. I promise, we weren't trying to kill you.
Q. Will I have visible scarring?
Q. Must I abide by any special diet like a liquid diet?
A. Not really. Anything that you can mash up with a fork and requires minimal chewing will be fine. Just take it easy the first week or so.
Q. How long will my surgery be?
A. About 2.5 hours. I can do it in an hour if you'd like.
Q. Will I have a splint?
A. I talked with your orthodontist this morning and he thought that you would need to have your maxilla widened, which would require a splint, but I don't think so. I would say there's a less than 50% chance you'll have a splint. If you do, it will be a small one and it will not stay on very long.
Q. Will I have rubber bands?
A. Not right away. Maybe after a couple of weeks.
Q. Will you fix my midline?
A. Yes, I actually just made some notes about that. Your midline is obviously off to the left and your teeth seem to go up at an angle on the right. I'll line up the midline on the top with your face, and then adjust the bottom to fit the top.
Q. Will you take out my wisdom teeth?
A. Yes, I'll take out all four during surgery.
Q. Will this make biting or chewing easier?
A. Oh, definitely.
Q. Will you be doing a rhinoplasty or genioplasty during surgery?
A. I've been watching your chin the whole time you've been talking to me, and I think it will be just fine. I don't think your nose will need any work either.
Q. Do you think this will help with headaches, speaking, mouth breathing and dry mouth?
A. Yes, to all of those. After surgery you will mainly be breathing through your mouth because your nose will be stopped up, but I imagine you're doing that already, aren't you? I mean, you can't even make your lips meet. I'd say on a scale from 1-10, ten being the worst, you're a nine.
Things that I feel better about:
- The man has experience
- Pain will be minimal
- No visible scarring
- The liquid diet isn't mandatory
- Splint is unlikely
- My midline is going to be fixed!
- This might help my chronic dry mouth
Things that I'm more worried about:
- I will not have rubber bands
- My wisdom teeth will be taken out
Okay, so my midline is going to rock! This is something that I've been worried about because I'd never heard my orthodontist mention anything about it until two days ago. I mean, I knew it was a problem and I figured they planned on fixing it one way or another, but I didn't want to mention it myself. Would that have been like trying to tell him how to do his job? Thankfully, he brought up that the surgeon would fix it. I hadn't even thought about him fixing it because I figured they could do it with braces, but I think it will be much less painful this way. I'm also glad that I'm not the only one that noticed my teeth are at an angle in my mouth, as if they didn't come in far enough.
Now, you may be asking yourself why I'm worried about a lack of rubber bands. Normally I'd say that the less pain and hardware the better, but that means there's nothing
holding my jaw closed. I'm sincerely terrified that I'm going to try to open my mouth and ruin all their hard work!
And then there's the wisdom teeth. This one is bittersweet for me. Don't get me wrong, I'm so
happy to get it all done at once and hopefully never have to go back for another orthognathic surgery, but that's notoriously hard to get through. I'm just worried that that surgery on top of a Lefort I and BSSO will be a bit much to deal with.
Anyway, it's only seven days now! Even though I'm a little worried, it's far too late for second guessing. So it looks like I'm just going to have to stop being a control freak and let God handle it from here on out.
Please keep me and my surgeon in your prayers this next week as we both are preparing for the surgery!
I guess I'd better add my parents to that list as well, seeing as they both simply shudder at the mention of the procedure.
¡Hasta la próxima!Currently Reading: BeastlyCurrent Weight:
117.0 lbsCurrent Tasks:
Praying and waiting; breathing deeply