After Orthognathic Surgery

After the after Orthognathic or jaw surgery, you will awake in the recovery room. There you will be monitored and observed until you are fit to return to your room, your family may visit you in the recovery room.  If you have one Orthognathic or jaw surgery, expect to be in the hospital for 24 hours.  Two Orthognathic or jaw surgery is an expected 48 hour hospital stay. Your jaws may be held together with elastics and/or wires and I may have used a plastic surgical splint to help guide you new bite.   After Orthognathic or jaw surgery  your mind may have difficulty finding your new bite, this is a neurosensory phenomenon and with the aid of the surgical splint will resolve in 4-6 weeks.  If you suddenly have difficulty finding your bite after surgery, this may be an indication of loose hardware and Dr. Johnson needs to be notified.  The bones are held internally with small pins, screws or plates. The period of jaw wiring may vary depending on the difficulty of surgery and having your jaws wired together is unlikely to happen.  In many instances, elastics will be used at the time of surgery and it will be necessary for the patients to learn how to apply and remove them. This should be reviewed with Dr. Johnson and with your orthodontist. All patients after Orthognathic or jaw surgery will have swelling after the soft tissue and bone incisions are made. Pressure dressings and ice packs will be used for a period of time to control the edema. Ice packs are an important part of your recovery, use them as much as you can tolerate. Medications to control infection, nausea, and swelling are frequently used immediately after the surgery. Pain control medications will also be ordered as required. Home care after Orthognathic or jaw surgery will also be discussed thoroughly. Appropriate instructions dealing with liquid and soft diets as well as oral hygiene will be provided. Depending on your age, health and type of surgery, extra help or home nursing may be recommended. Nausea or vomiting are rare but can be managed with the jaws together. It is rare to have to open the jaws urgently, but on discharge from the hospital, you may be provided with instructions and/or cutters. Uncommon occurrences such as bleeding when at home are rare but should be reported immediately. Contact numbers including Dr. Johnson and/or local health centers should be kept nearby. The most important instruction after Orthognathic or jaw surgery is for you to remain on a non-mechanical chew diet for the duration of healing, usually 6 weeks.  Even after a month of healing the bone segments are still weak and should not be stressed with a normal diet.