What types of problems are corrected with orthognathic surgery?
Jaw abnormalities which vary from mild to severe skeletal overbites, underbites and jaw asymmetries are corrected with orthognathic surgery.
What kind of surgery does it involve?
Orthognathic surgery is a procedure done on the lower or upper jaw and is normally performed through the inside of your mouth. The osteotomies, as they are called include moving either the whole upper and lower jaw or parts, hence resulting in the correction of these bone problems.
What is the time duration of the procedure?
These operations can take anywhere from 1-4 hours
Does it require a hospital stay and a general anesthetic?
Generally yes. The average stay in the hospital is from a couple of hours if it is an ambulatory procedure to 1-2 days. Recovery time usually requires about two to seven day recuperation at home. Most patients can go back to normal activities in 7-10 days.
What are the possible complications of the surgery?
Surgery can have a small risk of infection (thus antibiotics are prescribed to prevent this). Some of the procedures involve working near or around the sensory nerves to the gum tissues and lip and thus there is a small risk of a numbness or altered sensation of these tissues after the surgery. This is usually self limiting and comes back to normalcy in a few months. Bleeding is always a possibility with any surgery, but the need for blood replacement is quite rare. Some small degree of tooth movement or bone relapse is possible but can usually be minimized by close monitoring and post surgery elastic therapy.
How often is this kind of surgery performed?
We have been doing this type of surgery for 8 years.
What kind of medications and diet will be prescribed for a patient after the surgery?
All our patients are placed on a post operative regimen of antibiotics for 7-10 days and on analgesics and anti-inflammatory medications. The first day or so usually requires a full liquid diet followed by either a pureed diet and/or a mechanical soft diet.
Will one require orthodontics in conjunction with jaw surgery?
Most cases usually require a period of pre-surgical orthodontics which should be planned by the orthodontist in consultation with the surgeon.