So Far So Good - Langhorne, PA

I am a 62 year old female. I had double jaw...

I am a 62 year old female. I had double jaw surgery (overbite) and genioplasty. The reason for the surgery was sleep apnea. Because my lower jaw was too far back, my airway was small and my snoring was awful. I had been using a C-PAP for the past year. Also I have been a teeth grinder for most of my life but was wearing a night guard, not soon enough to grind a lot of my teeth away! To look at my profile before, you would see a receding chin, not awful in appearance, but the TMJ, sleep apnea, teeth grinding were pretty bad, and I would have ended up losing teeth because of the misalignment of my teeth combined with the grinding.

Over the past several months, I watched as many YouTube videos as I could. There are lots of young people who have documented their entire jaw surgery journey, and it seems like 99.9% of them were happy with the final result.

Right now I'm only on Day 7 post op. There are little improvements every day. For example, today my mouth still feels a little less swollen inside and it's easier to talk. My lower lip and chin are totally numb as I was told they would be. There are pins and needles. My surgeon told me it will take about 6 months for the feeling to come back fully, and possibly longer, or possibly never come back completely. For what it's worth, I have been taking homeopathic remedies to help with swelling and with nerves: The night before surgery Arnica Montana 200c, 6 pellets under tongue AND Hypericum Perforatum 200c 6 pellets under tongue. After surgery I am taking Arnica 30c 6 pellets 3x/day AND Hypericum 30c 6 pellets 3x/day. Not sure how long I will keep taking these. Also for what it's worth I plan to start seeing an acupuncturist in about another 2 weeks. ALSO I am taking high quality food supplements and protein powders and lots of vitamins. I wouldn't go near Ensure or Boost with a 10 foot pole.

I see my surgeon in 2 days. He will take out the stitches in my cheeks (one one each side). Not sure what he will tell me.
Hi and congrats on your surgery. I'm intrigued to know why you are against Ensure? I found it great for keeping my calorie intake up when i couldn't eat properly. Hope you continue to do well. What was the nerve repair supplement, was that the Hypericum? I still have a bit of numbness in lower lip but nothing that bothers me too much but i was dissapointed it didn't all come back but like you i knew the risks. Good luck with your healing.
Hi Eva, the nerve repair supplement is Hypericum. The Arnica is for swelling and bruising. I wouldn't want to use Ensure or Boost because if you look at the ingredients, they are about half water and sugar. Everything is artificial. To me it's not just about getting calories, it's about eating healthy. When was your surgery and what was it for?

Some photos from right before surgery to Day 8

You can see my pre-surgery profile, how blown up my face was right after surgery, and how it looks on Day 8.
Congratulations, and welcome to the community!  I'm so happy you decided to share with us.  How did you find us, by the way?  And have you met any of the other community members yet?  I'm so happy to hear that your doctor was extremely forthright about the risk of permanent nerve loss.  It seems like so many people are blindsided by that.  It sounds like you've had a great experience with your doctor!

Happy healing, and I look forward to watching your progress!
Thank you :) I found you just by chance and googling. I've been reading and watching as much as possible that others have posted about their own experiences. I have my first post op appointment today which I'm looking forward to. I was blindsided by the constipation from the painkillers! People should be prepared for the likelihood of that possibility. Sometimes the pins and needles and weird feelings want to drive me crazy but I am a person who meditates, so I try to not pay attention to the feelings. Will post an update after I see my doctor.
I'm so glad you found us!  The community isn't as large as some so I didn't know if it showed up on Google, but I'm so glad it did!

That's a shame they didn't tell you about the constipation.  It's something everyone knows about in some of the other surgery communities here on RealSelf (tummy tucks and mommy makeovers and the breast operations) because everybody talks about it, but people don't usually mention it in jaw surgery.  You should mention it in your review when you update after your next doctor visit!  A lot of people don't get as far as the comments.

Day 9 Saw the Surgeon for my first checkup

Was able to gargle this morning for the first time! Bruising is lighter on neck, going away.

I am moving in slow motion getting dressed, getting tired easily, that's to be expected. Put a load in the wash!

I had my first post-op appointment with the surgeon. He said everything is good. Start to use warm compresses for the swelling. Stay on the non-chew diet. He will probably give me rubber bands at my appointment next week because my bite is slight to the left. He took out the stitches on my cheeks. The ones in my mouth may start to fall out this week.
The grinding on the right side is normal, due to swelling and repositioning of jaw.

Spoke to my homeopath Michelle Rose. She told me to add Nux Vomica for detoxification, and Staphysagria for wounds and incisions, 30 c each, one or two a day for three days. Also for the rest of today, Saturday and Sunday go back to the 200ck Arnica and Hypericum 2x/day. On Monday if it’s better go back to 30c. Also take a B complex vitamin that’s made with real food not chemicals.
Great to see things continuing to progress, healingwise! :D

Update Day 11 post op double jaw and genioplasty

A woman sent me a private message this morning and this is my reply to her. She was contemplating whether to get the surgery and wondered how I was doing.

Today is Day 11 post op. So far everything I am going through is not unexpected, except for one thing. I was severely constipated after the surgery from the narcotic medications they give you afterwards, so you might try to head that off with some stool softeners when you get home. The initial days are rough because you're so numb and swollen. It's hard to drink, eat and talk. You will drool a lot. I used tons of tissues because I constantly felt like I was drooling, but that is gone now. I decided to only stay one night at the hospital so I would get better nutrition and some peace and quiet. I was nervous about going home after only one night but I was okay. Naturally you will need someone at home to help you. If nothing else you will be extremely tired in the initial days as the effects of the anesthesia are wearing off. I slept more than I knew I could for the first week, which is good. I still rest as much as possible. I bought a reclining chair which I've been sleeping in all this time, because you will need to keep your head elevated to minimize swelling. I am thrilled with my recliner!

Every day sees a little improvement. Patience is required as full recovery takes a long time, 6 months? 1 year? 2 years? Not really sure.

The most uncomfortable thing right now is the numbness in combination with pins and needles in combination with some soreness inside my mouth. I started using dental wax yesterday because the braces are irritating my swollen cheeks inside my mouth. My face was feeling like a block of wood (whatever that means to you :)) but today I feel it is a bit looser (again, whatever that means).

If you were to talk to me, I am totally understandable, but my jaws tire easily so I can't talk for very long without that happening. I think as my jaws get tired my speech gets more muffled because I don't want to move my mouth so much. It's still hard to smile.

I was neither wired nor 'rubber-banded', so I was able to start drinking from a cup almost immediately when I got home. I bought a bunch of plastic squeezy bottles with straws of various kinds and I really haven't used any of them, which is good.

Yesterday I walked my dogs for the first time, and drove myself to the pharmacy. Using my body made me feel better.

Your initial days will probably be spent sleeping, taking meds, cleaning your mouth and teeth (as much as possible), showering (feels so good), keeping ice on your face (I bought a 'jaw bra' similar to what you will use at the hospital but it holds gel packs rather than plain ice), preparing food (I make my own combinations using a Vita Mix) and drinking lots and lots of fluids. Since it's very hard to clean your teeth, drinking liquids is a good thing. I clean my mouth every time I eat. It's quite a ritual. I use a variety of things: salt water, peroxide mixed with salt water, Peroxyl, Neem mouthwash from the health food store, and the Rx mouth cleaner from the surgeon, and toothpaste of course. I bought a toothpaste called EarthPaste. It's so gentle that it's even edible. I use it as well as others.

My lips have been swollen. You will need to use some kind of ointment on them continuously to keep them moist. In the beginning there was some abrasion and bleeding of my lips because in the surgery the lips get stretched and messed up! My favorite is Burt's Bees Ultra Moisturizer for Lips.

I can still say so far so good. I saw my surgeon 2 days ago and he is pleased, so I am pleased. I took 3 weeks off of work. I'm at the halfway point. I hope by then I will be able to talk more easily, and feel more energetic.

I've been taking homeopathic remedies in addition to the medications, and will start getting acupuncture soon.

Speaking of medication, I take an antibiotic for 2 weeks, and Lodine, an NSAI for not sure how long. I was given a prescription for Dilaudid, which I only took four times since I've been home. That was in the first few days but I'm done with taking Dilaudid because I'm not in pain (more discomfort than pain) and it will cause constipation which I surely don't want. My elimination seems back on track now.

All in all, everything good.

I had lots of bruising below my chin and on my neck, but it's going away nicely.
hello, thanks for the note. yes little improvements each day. can you tell me how to edit my updates once they are posted?
We don't have access to our reviews to edit once they're posted.  That's why people have so many typos in their reviews :D.  What did you need to edit?

Day 15 looking good

Had an appointment at the orthodontist today. He says my face looks much more balanced, and inside my mouth looks good. I'll see him again in two weeks and maybe start back to orthodontics in four weeks. You can still see the bruising under my neck but it's going away. I'm tingly from my upper lip to my entire chin. I still sound funny when I talk but it's perfectly easy to understand what I'm saying. Still swollen in the areas where the plates and screws are. It's much easier to brush my teeth now as I'm able to get the toothbrush all the way in because there is less swelling inside my mouth. Tomorrow I have a second visit with the oral surgeon.
How are you doing now ? Still making good progress?
Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your wonderful review. It is so helpful for the rest of us, so many excellent ideas!!!
Thank you! I really appreciate that you took the time to write :)

Going a bit bonkers

I'm at day 28. I see my surgeon in 2 days, which I'm looking forward to because I'm expecting him to tell me I can start chewing and blowing my nose! I still feel quite a bit swollen inside my mouth although most people don't notice, and there's a lot of tingly feelings. When I'm not talking I don't notice it so much, but when I talk it accentuates all the weird uncomfortable feelings. Since I'm a teacher, I do a lot of talking, but since I'm a piano teacher, I don't have to teach for several hours in a row, which is great. I'm a bit sore around my nostrils but the surgeon said there are or were a lot of stitches inside. My chin and half of my lower lip are totally numb except for a small spot on my chin. Every place else is tingly. Every place else means my lips, in between my nose and upper lip, a little bit below my eyes, my cheeks along and creases (I imagine this is where the plates and screws are). My gums are numb too. I have a looong list of questions to ask my surgeon on Friday. I'll let you know what he tells me. On another note, yesterday was World Elephant Day, so my photo is grey-tone, and you see the elephant earrings :)
Hi and good for you to take on this surgery. You and I are the same age and had the same type of surgery. I had mine June 12, 2014. I was wondering if you have had a jaw popping issues?
Hi Linda, I'm not exactly sure what you mean by jaw popping. In the last week or so I've had some tmj issues come back. I still can't open my mouth completely wide, and when I yawn I'm very careful. In about a week I will have a sleep study so it will be official whether or not I still have sleep apnea, which was the reason for my surgery.
I love elephants!  Super-stylin with the earrings.  And that's so cool you're a piano teacher!  I have a degree in music, and had to spend many hours learning piano.  I did not learn it, LOL, but, you know, I can use it to play my parts.

I think there's been a massive amount of progress in just two weeks!  I hope you get all the good news you want to hear from the doctor!!!!

nine to eleven weeks

Things feel like they have been on a plateau for awhile. Upper lip getting feeling back. Lower lip and chin still numb and tingly. TMJ has returned this week, but I had surgery for sleep apnea, not TMJ, and my sleep apnea is gone. I will have another sleep study in a week to make it official. I have to be careful when I yawn because I'm afraid of setting off the TMJ.
It's encouraging to see someone your age posting. I'm 40 and was wondering if it was too late for me to do this. :) Did insurance cover because of sleep apnea?
Yes the insurance covered it because of the sleep apnea. Didn't you hear? - 60 is the new 40 :)
It's now almost 4 months since your surgery. Has your numbness resolved or continued to improve? I had lower jaw surgery for an overbite early April 2014 at age 58 and still have significant numbness in chin and lower lip - I can only feel tingling when pressing on my left chin and nothing on my right chin. It's been 6 months and I have not had improvement since early post op. During my last appointment with surgical team they stated up to 18 months for recovery but I am very concerned that there is no progression. I read that nerve recovery takes longer if you are female and if you are older.
Dr. Michael Sock

So far he has been terrific. He fully answers every question. His medical background is impeccable. So far it's all good.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
4 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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