Thursday, June 18, 2009

Surgery Update: Meet your surgeon

On this same appointment (3rd) Dr. Ibarra introduced me to the surgeon that will do my orthognathic surgery. She is a relatively young woman with a lot of experience in more difficult cases.

We discussed my situation for about an hour in which they explained everything to me and let me ask a lot of questions about my worries (I have never had “major” surgery).

The panoramic X-Rays taken a few days ago showed all my teeth and their roots perfectly vertically aligned and this was quite a change! I hope to get copies of that later. They also showed me the plaster mold and I could see my upper jaw has also widened to make more space and become rounder, quite a nice change too!

There have been a lot of retraction too and I feel and see that I no longer have to force my lower jaw way forward in order to have my teeth meet each other.

Because I live abroad and can’t come often they decided it was better not to perform extractions now because they wouldn’t be able to monitor it or perform maintenance on the archwires that my stick out when the gap closes.

Also, the original plan (nov. 2008) was that I would have surgery on my lower jaw to enlarge it. During my earlier research I learned that there are two big nerves in that area which cause a lot of numbness & tingling for months and it presents a risk. I was (am) very worried about it so I discussed it.

They also told me that now that she has evaluated my case there were several (4) alternatives and it has been chosen to do the following:

  • Perform the two extractions on the upper jaw during the orthognathic surgery.
  • Perform surgery on the upper jaw instead of the lower jaw. This would involve shortening (pulling back) my front side which would change the profile of my face. They would do the cuts on the gaps created by the extracted teeth (bicuspids).
  • Having done that they would then evaluate if that is enough. If not, then they would also perform surgery on the lower jaw to enlarge it. In this case the advancement will be shorter than the original assessment (9mm) and therefore involve less risks.

Naturally I was more worried to hear about surgery to my upper jaw, still worries me but I hope that the lower one can be left untouched.

My surgery has not yet been scheduled, that depends on the assessment made on the next follow up in December. However they estimate it could be around June 2010 (I don’t want to have that for my birthday!). If I was not abroad maybe even earlier!

Also, since I am scared about it Dr. Ibarra told me that even if I changed my mind and decide not to have the surgery the current results are still very good. In the meantime they will practice the surgery on the plaster (?) models they make of my mouth.

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