Complications of jaw surgery

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I am 48 years old. I had braces put on my teeth...

I am 48 years old. I had braces put on my teeth about 15 months prior to the surgery and knew I would have to have double jaw surgery. No research I did could have prepared me for what I went through. Nothing prepared me for feeling like I couldn't breathe after surgery and being surrounded by incompetent nurses. I was vomiting up blood and my lungs were full of blood which I struggled to cough up. When I was sent home from the hospital only two days later, I was sent home where I live alone and couldn't keep track of what medications to take when and couldn't get enough liquids in me. I highly suggest having some one with you from the moment you wake up from surgery. I ended up dehydrated and needed to go back into the ER where I was treated and released. Then began my two week stent of insomnia when I slept only an hour a night. This is also when the pain started. I felt and still do feel like I have fire ants eating my lips and chin. Though I am able to sleep now and have decent stamina during the day I take loads of non-narcotics to ease the pain. It now feels like I have tabasco sauce burning my lips. My chin is still completely numb as is my lower lip with the exception of continuing nerve pain that drives me batty. My surgeon thinks it is just the nerves "waking up" . I wish I would have known the surgery was going to be this brutal. I read many blogs before the surgery and no one mentioned this pain so I am getting quite concerned. At some point I will post before and after pics. I like my profile but not sure about the change to my face from the front. My bite is better , but not perfect. Hopefully the orthodontist will be able to correct the remaining issues, but he has only stated he will "do his best". Suffering in pain....

6 weeks post op, nerve pain continues as well as numbness, but improving

Okay, where do I begin. The swelling has gone down. I am getting a lot of compliments on my new face, but it is hard to enjoy because of the pain. However, the nerve pain continues to be extreme. Today I finally saw a neurologist who agrees with my surgeon that it is the nerves "waking up" and re-establishing their abilities. He calls the pain Trigeminal Neuralgia. My lower lip and entire chin are completely numb. It is uncertain if they will regain feeling or not and if so how long it will take. I finally went back to work but talk a little funny because of the numbness. The nerve pain increases because of all the talking. So the neurologist started me on trileptal because he didn't feel like the neurontin was working and he was probably right because I was having to take 2000mg a day to just take the edge off of the pain.


I'ts still really difficult to smile especially since my upper jaw has been moved forward so much and PLUS i have the braces on . So much discomfort. My look will supposedly change some more.


here is a profile before and after.

Before and after

Quit my job due to pain

My job requires a significant amount of speaking. After an 8 hour day i was in so much pain all I could do is cry. I resigned. I have been now diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuralgia, also known as "suicide disease". I am hoping it gets better with time. But being 6 weeks post op I am starting to wonder if it ever will.

7 weeks excruciating burning and numbness persists

It's getting no better. The neurologists says it is unknown whether or not it will get better. My quality of life has gone to hell since this surgery. Don't let anyone tell you this surgery is great and you'll do wonderful. To think I"ll live the rest of my life like this is extremely depressing. The pain is searing and I still can't chew without biting my bottom lip. I was NOT told this was a possible outcome of surgery.

8 weeks , no change in numbness or nerve pain

The neurologist and jaw doc just want to push pain meds at me, no one cares to find out the real reason behind why all the pain. I could have a damn screw that fell out, or be allergic to the plates put in , but no one cares to find that out. They all just want to manage the symptoms and hope I go away. It's a sad state of care I"m receiving and I'm angry.

10 weeks post op, pain and numbness continues

Double jaw surgery two and a half months ago and I continue to have a chin and lower lip feeling as if it is on fire. At the same time, it is numb. I am taking lots of pills each day that is supposed to help with the pain. THey don't seem to be working at all, but they do make me very sleepy, lazy, mentally dull, and forgetful. If I could go back in time I would not have the surgery. I do not like the way I look and my life has taken a turn for the worse. My bills are piling up, I had to quit my job, my credit is being affected, and now needing to be on all these medications I am not that sharp mentally. I am very disappointed in myself for letting myself be talked into this surgery and disappointed in the medical staff for doing this to me.

12 weeks post op, losing hope

I have a neurologist, a pain specialist, a regular doctor, all working to prescribe the right meds so I can get my life back close to what it was before this jaw surgery to correct a cross bite and an underbite. Even with all three of the drugs I'm on, I never feel as good as I did before the surgery. I can't understand why a team of doctors would do something so mean and cruel to me. What did I do to them for them to ruin my life like this? They are probably going to enjoy Christmas tomorrow with their families tomorrow but I am miserable,suffering in horrible pain as if my face is on fire even with these stupid medications that make me feel extremely anxious or tired but never seem to take the pain away. But the surgeons just go on to live their lives not thinking about mine that they wrecked. They did not warn me this could be one of the risks of the jaw surgery. Shame on them. Almost 3 months I have the same amount of burning sensation of pain, some minor improvement in deep feeling in chin but no feeling in lower lip. I could pierce it or cut it off and feel nothing. Thanks for nothing doc.

NO longer suffering with pain, numbness persists

It took 3 months for the pain to go away. No more burning sensations . Strangely enough it stopped and I don't even need to take anymore medications.
My chin and lower lip is still nearly totally numb and my lower lip turns blue a lot. I don't know what causes that. I am continuing to take the vitamin suppliment Acetyl L Carnitine which is supposedly good for nerve regeneration.
I"m going to look into having nerve repair surgery for the numbness to see if that would help.

4 months post op before and after pic

My chin and lower lip are still totally numb. The swelling is all gone. I tried to find photos that were very close so you could see the difference. I have pictures of both before and after that look different but these two I think are the closest regarding lighting, position, etc.

more before and after pics

Lighting and camera settings can change the appearance significantly. So I've added these to help show the difference before and after.

before pic

This was taken 3 years before surgery.

profile pictures

5 months post op getting some tingling

My chin and lip has been very numb. However, I noticed the last few days that when I touch the left side of my chin I get tingling sensations immediately. Yay! Unfortunately it does not have the same effect on my lower lip, but I am holding out hope. At least the pain has not come back. Still not sure if all this was worth the results. My bite is good now so that is what is important. One thing I do not like though is that since moving my lower jaw back I now have grooves from the corners of my mouth down like a clown. I just spent $1300 in filler trying to erase them. Thats another review.

6 months post op. Regret my decision to have this surgery.

Due to my ongoing numbness, discomfort and changes to my face I can honestly say that I regret this decision to have the surgery 6 months ago. I was told I would lose most my bottom teeth if I didn't do the surgery. But I wish I could have researched this further to see if there was not some other way to handle the surgery. My lower lip and chin are still numb however I do have some strange tingling that occurs when the are touched. Still nothing like it was. I also don't like the aging effect the surgery has had on my face. My mouth looks older and therefore my whole face does too. My surgeon had said, "if it does age you , you can just have filler done!" I don't know if he realized how expensive it would be to have 3 syringes of filler done ever 6 months. I know I didn't.

9 months post upper and lower jaw

My chin and lip feel frozen. However, my chin and lip muscles move more than they should when I talk. I still have a lot of numbness to the chin and lip but can feel immediate tingling when they are touched. My teeth fit perfectly now which is why I went through all of this. Although, if I could go back in time I would not have had the surgery but found some other way.

10 months. I miss being able to feel my lower lip and chin.

The burning is minimal, but still feels like I have chapped lower lip. I can't feel my lower lip or chin so it makes going out to eat a bit tricky; I could have food on my face and not feel it. I also realized i can't feel my gums either. But I can feel my tongue and roof of mouth so that's good. I really appreciate all the support of everyone reading my posts and connections I've made. I like the change to the way my face looks but still would rather have the feeling back in my face.

10 months

Just after my 7 hour jaw surgery

My surgery was horrid. Here is the pic of me the day after.

13 months post op, numbness and varying degrees of burning continue

REGRETS, I have a few. THis surgery is the biggest regret of my life. Food on my chin and lip is common place due to the numbness. Kissing is awkward. Eating is awkward. Chewing is uncomfortable/painful. My teeth are loose from the braces and which were taken off over six months ago. My mouth has never felt the same since the surgery. The nerves are very messed up and after all this time I don't figure it will get much better.

13 months post op

At 90 days post op the continuous agonizing burning stop. Unfortunately for some strange reason at about 11 months post op the burning resumes. Numbness continues to all of gums, most of lower lip and chin. Chin and lower lip feel frozen and heavy, difficult to move, and burn constantly. I'm back to having to take 600mg of neurontin twice a day. Really regret this surgery.

2.5 years post jaw surgery

They never told me a risk was having chronic burning sensation. Although it has lessened, I continue to feel a slight burning to my lower lip and chin. Also my gums are numb so it's very hard to floss and feel if there's food stuck in my teeth. I can feel very little sensation in my lower lip and chin so eating is often embarrassing with food all over it that I can't feel is there. This surgery is my greatest regret of my life.
Nova Southeastern University School of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

After a long, painful 3 months the pain has finally dissipated. The recovery was very rough for me. I finally feel without pain, numbness is still no different though. I miss being able feel my lower lip especially. The doctors are pleasant but do not disclose any hint of difficulty or after surgery expectations. Knowing what to expect after waking up would have helped make an educated decision before going forward and less panic after the surgery.

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