Preparation for surgery
I have a pre-op appointment in mid-September. At this time my maxillofacial surgeon will take x-rays, moulds and from there make my splints and build the final surgical plan. It will also give me the chance to ask lots of questions and make sure we agree on the outcomes.
Orthognathic surgery is a very general term, the definition of which is 'surgery to correct conditions or abnormalities of the jaw and face'. More specifically, my orthognathic surgery will involve:
- LeFort I maxillary osteotomy (upper jaw) and Bilateral sagittal split osteotomy or BSSO (lower jaw) - That's literally quite a mouthful, but in layman's terms they will remove sections of bone from my upper jaw (maxillary) and lower jaw (mandibular). This will take my upper jaw upwards (to remove my gummy smile) and backwards (to finish correcting my overbite) while at the same time correcting the skewed angle at which my upper jaw has grown. My lower jaw will be split and extended forwards, creating a stronger, more balanced profile.
- Genioplasty - also known as chin augmentation. A surgical implant will be used to alter the shape of my chin. This in conjunction with the double jaw surgery assists in creating a balanced profile.
- Turbinectomy - a procedure in which some or all of the turbinate bones attached to mucous membranes in the nasal passage are removed. This is used to relieve nasal obstruction.
- Septoplasty - a corrective procedure to straighten the nasal septum.
At the moment it is estimated that my surgery will take around six hours to perform and will involve a three day stay in hospital with the first night being in a high-dependancy unit. Here is a YouTube video (don't worry just an animation) which gives you an idea of what the osteotomy part of the surgery will look like:
I will need to spend the first couple of weeks at home resting and will have several weeks of swelling and bruising. I'll also be on a liquid and soft food diet for at least six weeks, so hopefully I will lose a bit of weight at the same time!
So what will this mean for my face? Well I'm not going to come out of the other end looking like Joan Rivers or a contestant from Extreme Makeover that's for sure. And despite the suggestions of my friends, I've opted not to have a breast enlargement "because you may as well while you're there"! What I should end up with is a squarer jaw line, no overbite, a stronger chin, a straighter septum, a balanced profile and of course teeth that all meet and a better functioning jaw. Hopefully I will just look like a normal guy.
I must admit that while I make jokes and say that I'm fine with everything, I'm actually starting to get very nervous. I'm not so worried about the pain or the healing as I know I can handle that, but I hope that the end results will make this whole journey worth it. I hope that I will be able to look into the mirror and finally like what I see.
So that's my big news! Keep posted for more updates in the lead up to my surgery. I also plan to blog from my hospital bed so you'll be with me every step of the way!