Yesterday, I had my consult at the U of M.
Let me just say, I was a nervous wreck. I guess it’s kinda to be expected. I had a good feeling about this one since I set it up 2 months ago. The days leading up to it, I started to worry though. Just hoping that everything would go okay. The fear of one thing going wrong, and having to start back at square 1…. again.
Well, I’ll just cut right to it… it went good. So far, so good. Thank you God for a step forward!!!
The surgeon was so nice. She was such a sweetheart, and she could tell how much I want this. She sounded so confident, and had so much knowledge. Her assistant helped her take a bunch of different measurements of my mouth. (Something that the other 2 surgeons didn’t do) She said by the looks of it, I’d actually need DOUBLE jaw surgery. My ortho told me to expect upper jaw surgery…. but now the lower jaw too? Hey, I’ll take it. She can do whatever she wants to my face. I trust her. The only thing that I was worried about, was my jaw being completely wired shut. (Liquid diet, no thanks.) With the information that I’ve gathered about other peoples experiences, surgery on the lower jaw requires more stabilization, therefore it needs to be wired shut. The upper jaw would have enough stabilization with the plates and screws that they use, but you still have limited movement of your jaw. They attach hooks to your teeth, and you wrap rubberbands around them to keep things somewhat stabilized. Well, she said that she doesn’t believe in wiring a mouth shut, she sticks with the rubberbands, no matter what procedure…. that was one of the best things I heard at my consult!
She told me that I have a nice upper lip support… I have no clue what that means? lol.
She explained how she’d perform the surgery. All the incisions are made inside the mouth. For the upper jaw, she would go up under my lip, and cut the whole bone that supports my teeth. (Yeah, so she’d basically take out my teeth.) She’d cut a chunk of the bone, to raise my teeth, therefore, getting rid of the gummy smile. As for the lower jaw, she was talking about extending it out further. Maybe she’d use the extra bone from my upper jaw, and use it for my lower jaw? LOL. I didn’t ask….
One thing that she was unsure about, was when I slide my lower jaw forward, to the correct bite position, my back teeth don’t touch at all. My front teeth touch, but there’s a gap between my molars. They took impressions of my teeth, and said that they’d be able to figure out more from there. She said by taking bone from the upper jaw, it would naturally allow my lower jaw to swing up higher, but she didn’t know where my teeth would align. With the impressions, they’ll have the ability to test out surgery procedures, and get everything planned out.
She seemed genuinely happy that she’d be able to do this for me. The surgery won’t change my face much, but my smile will be completely different. She sounded so excited to see the end result.
The details that she had for me was that it’s a 4-5 hour procedure. It requires you to stay one night in the hospital, possibly two nights. (Depending on circumstances) I’ll be reallllllly swollen after surgery. I’ll be able to eat anything that I can squish between my fingers (that’s how she explained it.) Basically a soft food diet, mashed potatoes, eggs, pudding, yogurt, smoothies, etc. The initial recovery is only about a week, most swelling should be done by then. I’ll have a numb face for awhile. That’ll happen because she’ll be moving the nerves around. It’ll be wonderful, I won’t know if I’m drooling. haha. just kiddingggg. Actually, please tell me if I am. Thanks. The real reason that it’ll be so great though, is that I won’t actually feel pain with my recovery. I’ll still feel some discomfort, she said, but the numbness will take care of a lot. By the time that I start getting feeling back in my face, the surgery will already be healing.
As of right now, she said that she was going to get paperwork filled out for the insurance company, and put in a claim. She’ll be working with my orthodontist, trying to figure out the best plan for me. I almost don’t want to get too excited yet. Just for the fact that insurance companies can sometimes be a pain, however, another one of the surgeon’s assistants told me that they fight with insurance companies. If the surgeon sends in papers, saying that it’s medically necessary with basic information, and if the insurance company doesn’t agree… this surgeon keeps on it. She’d send in a more detailed explanation as to why they NEED to accept the claim. Knowing that, it makes me feel more at ease, but I still worry. Once I hear the approval from the insurance company, I’m probably going to freak out, collapse, then start bawling. This whole process has been such a pain! I am crossing my fingers, and praying to God that this is the final step, and hope that everything works out this time.
I don’t have another appt set up, as of right now. She said that another appt would be scheduled once the insurance is figured out, and she discusses the procedure with my ortho. Also, I’ll know whether it will require both jaws, or just the upper jaw, at my next appt. Hopefully I’ll be able to set a surgery date at that time, too!