T-5 Days: Captain Hook

I’m having jaw surgery next Monday, March 4th 2013. I’ve had braces for 9 months in preparation for this surgery. During this time, I spent countless hours reading the blogs of others who have undergone jaw surgery. This has helped alleviate a lot of anxiety I felt about my surgery. I decided to pay it forward by documenting my own experience, and I hope this can help someone else out there! The name of the surgery I’m having is Lefort 1 Osteotomy Possible Segmental and Bilateral Mandibular Sagittal Split Osteotomy Advancement. I explain it in detail here, and my reason for doing it here.

Surgical hooks

I may have just contaminated the box of surgical hooks.

Today I had an appointment with my orthodontist Dr. Cameron to have surgical hooks affixed to my braces. The process was painless and took less than 5 minutes. Surgical hooks seem to be the modern alternative to wiring the jaw shut. My surgeon will place elastics to join the top and bottom hooks to secure my jaw in the proper healing position after surgery [click here to see my post-surgery bands]. I’ll receive instructions about how often I can remove them to clean and floss my teeth. The surgical elastics are typically used for about a month after surgery. Mine will be on for 2 months, and then my orthodontist will use bands after that to make any adjustments. I was worried about the surgical hooks because many bloggers find they hook ugly and bothersome. I was pleasantly surprised when I looked in the mirror, I could barely see them! I couldn’t feel a difference in my mouth and several hours later, I don’t have any ulcers like I did when I got the braces.

Surgical hooks

Afterwards, Dr. C. spent several minutes reminding me that everything is going to go smoothly. He thinks that for the first three days I’ll feel like it’s worse than what I imagined, but for the following few days I’ll feel like it’s so much easier than I had imagined. [In retrospect, he was right, only the difficult period was more like 7 days]. I was handed this gigantic wad of surgical wax and told to use it on my braces and hooks after the surgery if I got any ulcers or if anything was poking me.

Jaw surgery wax

A tiny contrast from the teaspoon of wax I got for 9 months in braces.

After this appointment, I continued my pre-surgical feast by stopping by a local A&W. These past few days I’ve felt a little panicky around food. I feel like a squirrel preparing for winter. I’m stuffing my cheeks like I’ll never eat again after surgery. I’m also taking advantage of the post-surgery weight loss to eat things I would never usually allow myself, such as onion rings, onion rings and onion rings. It’s been a lot of fun and my husband is right, it’s a sort of consolation prize.

I am expected to lose about 15lbs post-op. Bottom's up!

Bottom’s up!

Tomorrow is my pre-op appointment at the hospital. Afterwards, I’m headed to my surgeon’s office for my final consultation prior to surgery. I’m going to find out exactly what type of surgery I’m going to have.


5 thoughts on “T-5 Days: Captain Hook

  1. Hi, im at the very early stages (waiting for braces) then double jaw surgery later down the line but how ‘pink’ did your gums needs to be before the put braces on. I see theyre pretty pink in your pics. Were they always like that or were you told to get them to that stage before they progressed on?

      • just that they needed to pinker than what they are now. when i saw the hygienist back in april they said they were fine for braces to be put on but when i saw the orthodontist she said no. im off to the hygienist again in september so im going to ask the same question again and if they say the same, im going to ask them to put it in writing the ortodonist

  2. I’m still 5 months out, but yours is the first blog I’ve read where someone else has ulcers from braces. I had them quite frequently even before braces, but it’s been light years worse with them. Going to read on.

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