I've known since I was 15 that I would have to get this surgery. Every dentist I visited told me my underbite was too severe too be fixed with braces and that I would have to get surgery to fix it. Once I turned 18 and finally stopped growing, I knew it was time to figure out how to fix my jaw. I found Dr. Hsieh from a review on this site. The main reason I wanted to meet him initially was because he supposedly spoke perfect English. After my initial consultation I knew that I wanted Dr. Hsieh to be my surgeon. He did indeed speak perfect English and was clearly very experienced (he said he did aboout 250 surgeries a year). The staff at the clinic also spoke a decent amount of English and were very professional. After my parents and I confirmed that we'd be going through Dr. Hsieh, we decided that the perfect time for the surgery would be at the beginning of my 4 month summer vacation, which was from May to September.
I arrived at the clinic at 10:30am and then I had to change into the clothes they gave me. They then told my parents to leave and I was taken into the OR. After laying there for about 5 minutes, the anesthesiologist entered and promptly put me under. I woke extremely confused with my family surrounding me. Once the drowsiness wore off, I was in a decent amount of pain. At around midnight, a nurse came and gave me a painkiller. I asked her for more at around 4am but she refused, saying it would be bad for my liver. Finally, at 1pm the next day my parents came and took me back home. My face was extremely swollen and I was in quite a bit of pain.
The first week was by far the hardest week of my life. I was constantly drowsy but could never sleep soundly because of the intense discomfort. There was a bit of pain in the first 2-3 days, but after that there was just lots and lots of discomfort due to the swelling and muscle spasms. My jaw was rubber banded shut, so I was on a strict liquid-only diet. Fortunately there is a dietitian in my family, so she helped prepare my meals to ensure I got the nutrients my body required after a major surgery. I was on painkillers and antibiotics throughout the week. I was also drooling constantly throughout the day. I found this to be extremely frustrating because I could either let the drool fall onto my shirt or wrap a towel around my neck to catch the saliva (this was very uncomfortable since Taipei is very hot in May).
The rubber bands holding my jaw shut were removed, allowing me to finally eat slightly solid food. I was also able to talk much better, which I was very happy about. My diet consisted mainly of soft rice with shredded meat and protein shakes. The swelling was still very severe, but had gone down noticeably from the previous week. Most of the discomfort was due to the muscles around my jaw spasming continuously throughout the day. I was given muscle relaxants which helped a bit.
My diet returned mostly back to normal by week 3. If I found something to be too large or too hard to chew, I would just cut it in to smaller pieces and then I’d usually be able to eat it. The swelling reduced significantly throughout the week. The muscle spasms also got much milder. By the end of the week, my life had mostly returned to normal. I no longer felt weak and was therefore able to go out with my friends as normal.
The swelling finally reduced to a point where I could see what my face would like for the rest of my life. I was very happy with what I saw and it was at this point that I realized everything had definitely been worth it.