What to Expect After Corrective Jaw Surgery

Returning to Dr. Maranon‘s Office for Post-operative care

After patients go home, Dr. Maranon will see them frequently in the office to make sure that the surgical sites are healing well. Necessary x-rays will be taken to check the positions of the bones.  The frequency of visits will decrease over time. Dr. Maranon is also available to patients at any time if they have questions about their recovery. The incisions that were made on the inside of the mouth for access during the surgical procedure were closed with sutures. The incisions are typically located in the folds of the mouth and are not usually not visible after surgery. The sutures will either fall out on their own or Dr. Maranon will remove them after 10-14 days.

Returning to Work or School

Depending on how patients are feeling, they will probably be able to return to work or school one to three weeks after surgery. Normal recovery time lasts just a couple of weeks for minor surgery.  For more complicated surgery, the initial healing phase can last about six to eight weeks.  Complete healing of the jaws can take between 9 and 12 months.  As far as your appearance is concerned, any bruising that may occur will be gone after a few days. Swelling, however, takes longer to dissipate, but most will be gone after approximately two to three weeks. Patients may be more conscious of their appearance than the people around them.  Often patients will feel like they “ran out of gas” in the afternoon.  This is normal and this feeling will improve with time. A number of other factors will determine when patients can return to normal activities.  Youth is an advantage, as with any surgery.  Attitude plays a very large part in the recovery process.  A positive attitude increases your ability to snap back from the procedure. Patients who follow with a healthy diet tend to recover more quickly. Dietary instructions are given to help patients with their nutrition.  Clearly, the type of surgical procedure performed and the length of the procedure will influence recovery time. Lastly, the demands of school or the patient’s occupation play a role and must be considered. 

Dr. Maranon will make every effort to make the patients post-operative course comfortable.  Though pain is expected after surgery, it is Dr. Maranon’s goal that his patients just have soreness.  Most patients only require prescription pain medication of a few days.  After that, pain control can usually be achieved with over the counter pain medication.  Patients may have some soreness in lengthy conversations; however, the more patients talk, the more they exercise their muscles and the faster their recovery will be.

Post-operative Orthodontic Treatment

Six to nine weeks after surgery, Dr. Maranon will refer patients back to their orthodontist to start the post-surgical phase of their orthodontic treatment. Orthodontic treatment after surgery usually takes six months to complete the final adjustment of the bite.  The patient’s cooperation during this time will play a large part in the successful completion of treatment.