Saturday, July 2, 2016

How to choose an orthognathic surgeon

Hi everyone,

I haven't posted in age, but I still get a lot of questions regarding jaw surgery and I thought over time I'd try to update my blog a bit and add some more information for commonly asked questions.

I feel like a lot of the reason why my jaw surgery experience was so positive and why I got the results I was hoping to achieve is really due to my surgeon. It's not easy putting your life in someones hands but it makes it a lot easier if you feel comfortable with that person and you do your research.

I have cancelled surgeries for other things in the past because I didn't feel comfortable with the surgeon. I've had breathing difficulties and a lot of other medical issues related to my jaw issue in the past. But I'm glad that orthognathic surgery was my final decision.

Here are the steps I took before deciding my surgeon was right for me: '

1. Look and their previous work

I went online and tried to get into contact with as many people as possible who went to my surgeon. Jaw surgery is a combination of functionality, but a part of it is aesthetics. Every surgeon seems to have a different style as to what end result looks good. I noticed with my surgeon that I really liked the way both the nose and the chin ended up post op. It can be common to have your surgery combined with a genioplasty which is having your chin moved. This can be necessary when you have a convex profile or your either have too much bone or too subtle of a chin. Those issues may become exaggerated depending on how your jaws are moved. If you can't find any before and after pictures from your surgeon, call their office and see if they can provide you with any. Also, don't really use their digital imaging of what you will look like as a deal breaker because mine looked nothing like how I look now.

This is one of my before and after pictures. Theses are both with my face in resting position and teeth fully closed. 

2. Research reviews, blogs, and forums to find out anything you can about your surgeon.

I checked all the reviews I could and I could only find one negative review and it was someone upset because my surgeon refused to do surgery on them altogether. Some surgeons will not do revisions. My surgeon does not do revisions from other surgeons as far as I know. If this is a first time jaw surgery for you, you'll have a easier time finding a surgeon than if you had jaw surgery and experienced complications or relapsed and then tried to go to a different surgeon. Also, forums and blogs will give you a good idea as to how that surgeon treats their patients throughout the process. I was so scared to have a surgeon similar to my orthodontist who was extremely welcoming during the consultation and then turned into a total ass who couldn't care less about my progress after they got their payment. My surgeon and all his staff were extremely professional, friendly, and were there for me throughout the entire process.

3. Use your gut instinct.

If you get a really bad vibe off of someone it might be a good sign that you need to go elsewhere. With my surgeon, I felt comfortable from the start with both him and his staff. Jaw surgery is a big decision and you need to be 100% committed and prepared for a long road ahead of you. Don't let the slight possibility of complications scare you. I had some complications after my surgery which resulted in an infection that required more surgery and a week with a drainage tube in my face. I would still do it all over again. The recovery is such a small time compared to spending the rest of your life without all the issues you had before surgery. I still don't know how I went so long with constant jaw pain and breathing issues. Not to mention the fact that I was slowly grinding my back teeth down to the point where I will never be able to properly chew certain foods from the damage.

Useful links regarding jaw surgery:

Archwired forum  This is probably the post helpful forum I have come across. They have a section on orthognathic surgery which was extremely helpful.

Jaw surgery forums   Another super useful forum that I believe started up doing the time I was going through my process.

Facebook pages and groups - just do a general Facebook search for jaw surgery.

You can also check out any of the links on your right  -----> I tried to link as many jaw surgery blogs as possible. Some may no longer be active as this was a few years ago.

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