Post Surgery Recovery and Tips

Today marks the 30th day of my post op. It was a hell month with pains and headaches that does not go away due to the tensed jaws muscles in my cheeks. I was too afraid to move or to bite because i felt my bones were still weak and movable!

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Facial (not jaw) exercises worked!! And some smiling exercises too.

Tension headaches released, tension jaws released. Work on it!!

P.s: Today I secretly released my tight rubber bands that Dr Tan tightened, since Dr Lye says my bite is quite stable and I’m going the ortho tomorrow 👍👍<

It’s been a tough month, especially the first 2 weeks. Before the operation, I thought it was easy because everywhere I read about their experiences was just discomfort, but they didn’t mention the frustrations they are getting. I was wired shut, I couldn’t get messages through, I was frustrated and impatient. I cried soooo much (nobody mention that previously in their recovery), and nobody visited me. Not to mention I was super weak and fatigued from the anesthesia and the liquid diet.

I seek alot of comfort from a jaw surgery group (worldwide) because that was only the place where people understands me.

Along the way, I met more people who are Singaporeans that are also Doctor Tan’s patients whom I can seek advice, help and comfort from their experience. (That’s how friends are made)

There were also times where people do not understand why I needed the surgery and keeps saying everything looks ok. Yea~ on the surface.. Don’t be so superficial can anot luh?? What’s inside my mouth and health related issues, you know anot hah?

Then there were people who are so ignorant that they claim this is solely cosmetic.. When do you see cosmetic surgery done in our local government hospitals? Common sense luh.. Somemore medisave can claim, government hospital stay can subsidise. So good ah? Then i want to do my boobs liao lah huh!

24-hour-boob-job

Then another few would say, but you see your face change like become a different person liao, still say not cosmetic? Comon leh… jaw movement (Bones) ley! If face no change maybe i’m really an alien liao! Can you look beyond that?

Doctor Tan told me to be prepared for face that may have huge changes. Maybe my jaw deformity is so bad that the surgery became a massive one that almost changed my looks entirely. On the good side, everyone around me who are concern on my biting and face symmetrical issues previously are happy for me. They look deep and beyond knowing it’s for the best of me. They said, : To us, you are still you. Your face has given you more confident and the thought that you could eat better in the future is most important.”

Wahhh… so touching luh.. then u know who are the real friends and family liao lor..

But I’m so glad that god has been kind to me allowing me to meet people who are on the same path. I had some of Facebook friends who are constantly comforting me and encourage me through each day (strange that sometimes the most caring ones are actually strangers)

Officially 1 month post op. I’m finally smiling 😊😊 The rest of the swelling will take months but it’s ok, at least my teeth meets now.

Tomorrow is my orthodontist appointment. Once I get all my braces fixed, my journey to chewing will officially starts 😄😄

AND BACK TO WORK!! I’m still on HL thou, we shall see how it goes. Cross my fingers no post op complications and no more intense headaches.

The whole surgery ONLY consist of breaking and moving of bones.

NO implants were made.

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P.S: I’M LOVING MY TEETH 😍😍😍

Works of orthodontics Dr Alfred Cheng from Alfred Cheng Orthodontics Clinic with Oral Maxillofacial surgeons Dr Winston Tan and Dr Clement Lye 👍 at The Oral Maxillofacial Practice.

I had a double jaw surgery where both jaw bones are cut and pushed back and secured by plates and screws till the bones regrow back. Doctors also decided on a chin advancement of 5mm during the surgery.

Jaw surgery recovery tips (based on what i have used and experienced) :

– Warm salted water gargle. Cheap and super effective on wounds. They are really important. I did it before and after every meal and that made m incisions heal hell lot faster and prevent inflammations on the wounds! Dy Lye was pretty amazed by my incisions recovery. I couldn’t brush my teeth so i also used orasol mouth rinse given by the hospital. That prevents bacteria from building in your mouth.

– Ice pack. They are saviors!! Apply them on your face for the first few days every few hours or as much as you like. Your face will be “burning” because your cells and trying to heal, ice packs helps to cool it down and makes it feels alot more comfortable.

– Liquid/Powdered Vitamins, Calcium and Probiotics. Your body has gone through a HUGE trauma after surgery and it needs external help. Antibiotics will cause upset stomach as it kills all bacteria including the good ones. I’m taking powdered form probiotics after every antibiotic medication and it makes my day alot better. For sale of powdered Vitamin C and Probiotics that i am taking, pm me on facebook.

– Warm packs. You will probably need this after 1-2 weeks post op. The muscles gets so tensed after surgery and not moving for weeks, heat packs warms it and loosen the muscles for better movement. I bathe with very warm water every morning to loosen my muscles in the cheeks.

– High Protein shakes and meal replacement. I heard so much from other jaw surgery bloggers how yuckie Ensure is, so i prepared my own Protein shakes and meal replacement. Your body needs ALOT of energy to heal, therefore nutritious food intake is very important. Juices and liquid alone, is never enough. If you wish to purchase the protein shake, you can pm me on my facebook.

– Big Syringes. Hospital will be giving syringe to aid you with your liquid diet however, it’s energy draining to pump and drink from a small syringe everytime. So go to Guardians Pharmacy and head for the biggest syringe!

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– Very good Lip Balm. I heard vaseline is not good enough. I bought Burts bee Wax with peppermint and i have also gotten Paralin from the hospital. Your lips will be so swollen, injured, sore from peeling through the surgery that the bee wax kinda felt burning. I stopped and used Paralin since. Organic Coconut Oil from the supermarket is very good for healing and soothing peeled lips. Get one!

– Oracort E. Get it from your hospital before leaving. The sides of my lips cracked everytime i went back for review when they pulled open my mouth. It was a torture! This is for ulcers but it’s great for healing cracks on your lips too! Don’t buy from pharmacy, i feel it’s not the same. Get it from your dental clinics or hospitals.

Oracort-E-5mg (1)

– Frankincense and Myrrh oil. The pure ones are very expensive but they are worth buying for healing sake. Frankincense warms and soothe tensed muscle and also helps in the mood relieving stress, anxiety and despair. Myrrh helps in blood circulation, muscles contractions, boost immunity, strengthen gums, helps wounds and prevent infections. I applied on my face at least twice a day.

– Facial (not jaw) exercises. Doctor Lye cleared me on soft food on my 3rd week but i didn’t dare to because i had so much extra wires tired to my teeth and pressing into my gums making it so uncomfortable and sensitive to bite. By the 4th week when they release all my bands and wires, my face are still stiff and suffered persistent headaches because my muscles are not strong enough to support. So i googled and did some face exercise which includes expression exercise and smiling exercise.

Other exercise includes open (stretch) jaw wide to a acceptable range, hold it for 5 secs, slowly release.

Another is to lightly press against your chin, and open your jaw slowly. You will feel your muscles pulling.

It was the first time i slept peacefully after waking up from a severe headache and doing these exercises.

– H2O. Be very well hydrated. Drink LOTS of water, i don’t mean juices or fluids.

– Collagen. Doctor Tan mention that after surgery, your skin is stretched, water retention expands your skin causing skin to sag. Of course if you are young, collagen rebuilds faster. I wouldn’t want to take the risk so i drank collagen soup which can be purchased from here:—> https://sg.dineinn.com/hosts/judy-ng/foods/collagen-broth-z9ydzv8w6kexmw

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– Chicken and Fish Essence. To me, this is essential for recovery and wellbeing after surgery, at least for the first week. Pure black chicken essence can be purchased here: —-> https://sg.dineinn.com/hosts/judy-ng/foods/pure-black-chicken-essence-uy3qdfj7u1vddq

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– Baby Toothbrush and Waterpik. Dr Lye wants me to start brushing after week 1 removal of splint. My cheeks are so swollen that i can hardly reach a toothbrush in. Go to the baby store, and get the smallest toothbrush possible and start brushing. My waterpik usage is approved by Doctor Lye during week 2 but was afraid to use it till week 4. It really cleans all particles stuck in the sides or the brackets in your mouth. Keep your teeth as clean as possible to prevent bacteria buildup that causes tooth decay. What’s the use of a good set of teeth that is decayed?

That’s all i can think of now. I’ll continue to add in and update if i thought of anything else.

#jawsurgery #DrWinstonTan #DrClementLye #OralMaxillofacialClinic

The surgery day – Goodbye to Alien Jaws

Hi all, long await for all those who have been waiting for my post on the actual jaw surgery day!! Here I pen down all my thoughts, emotions, struggles and hope to get encourgements to push through each day🤘

The purpose of this jaw surgery: To make teeth meet, jaws aligned to give a proper bite. You’ll get ALOT of negativity from people, but you know what is good for you.

I’ve not been posting recently due that I’m feeling all so jittery from getting nearer and nearer to surgery date. I’ve researched so much, read so much blogs and took the courage to watch one YouTube video to know how it’s done (stupid me to scare myself) 😩😩

I think I’ll summery the days all in one post? You guys can come back to this post to read up more updates day by day as I do not want to flood my baking posts with surgery details. Here comes ALL ungalm photos!

22nd Nov 2017 – Wednesday

Day 1 : 4 pre-molar teeth were removed, upper jaw about 6mm backwards, lower jaws about 4mm backwards and chin 5mm forward to give me a proper profile. (I’ll confirm the details again after I’m getting better) It was really traumatic and horrible day out of the surgical theater, when they woke me up right after the surgery. The pain was intense, 8/10 I would say, I could feel the pain of the bones broken and my face is so hot and burning that I’m sweating so much because blood were gushing in my face, the cells are trying to heal…. I’m drifting in and out of conscious and they keep calling my name! I was transferred to the ICU, I couldn’t really breathe and they gave me oxygen (Lucky no bubble tea straw inside my nose luh).

I vomited 3 bags of blood, (the effects from general anesthesia, the smell of blood is so raw and disgusting! ) they then injected anti-vomiting medicine through my IV drips and that got me better immediately. Bear with it. The worst is always at day 1 (That’s what everyone says). The doctors came and told me everything went well without complications! Oh~ ice packs!! They are very good relieve, keep asking for them if you feel pain and hot in your face!

Day 2 : Today is the day where I should be out of ICU but they couldn’t get me a A class ward so I downgraded. I hate staying in the ICU where there’s no tv and I can’t use the phone, awakening by noises of the machines and nurses every now and then, starring into blank spaces 😡. I agreed to downgrade to a B class ward.

Seeing all messages of encouragements brightens my day and the will to move on. These are people from all over the world who needs or have a jaw surgery. Join their Facebook page, share experiences and ask questions.

When everyone doesn’t understands why I’m going through this and keeps relating to cosmetic surgery, there are so many who understands why we have to go through this. Of cos, and my husband who has been there for all my medicinal appointments and hospital stays 😄

Where everyone doesn't understands why I'm going through this and keeps relating to cosmetic surgery, there are so many who understands why we have to go through this. What's better is my dad who never encourages surgeries actually encouraged this time! Of cos, and my husband who has been there for all my medicinal appointments and hospital stay

Lots of drooling because my mouth is too swollen to close up… I tried drinking with a straw for the first time after transferring to the B ward. I can’t drink well because my face muscles are all so swollen that I couldn’t sip. So I used a tubing syringe. I was on drips and medications was injected in drips, it became so painful on the 2nd day that the nurses say they had to poke another vein otherwise it might cause infection in that vein. I told her to gave me oral medications instead, and the doctor approved! Now, introducing “food” into your stomach after 2 days without food is tough, i thought i could drink but my throat is just starting to “reopen” and my stomach trying to re-accept food into it. Just keeps practicing! You need food and plenty of rest to recover!

Looking like some freako with splint and a wired shut mouth

Day 3 : i couldn’t believe how well I slept (2 and 4 hours) in my B1 ward (luckily, reading the post of others experience, they could only sleep 2 hours each time on Week 1), there weren’t much disturbance and my breathing is getting ALOT better! Very much progress for a day 3 I guess? Pain has became very much non existence other than some throbbing/pressure headaches. I felt some soreness from the stitches and I drank more fluid today, hoping they’ll remove my drips today. If all is well, they will discharge me on Friday. I want to sleep and recover comfortably at home.

Day 4 : Back at home for recovery. Slept from 10.30pm to 4.30am. My face is super oily, keeps oozing out oil. Felt pins and needles on my lips on and off, and I could feel the soreness of the stitches in my mouth now. Recovery was painful.

Day 5: Felt some pain from the stitches in the middle of the night, and hungry as well. Woke up this morning, made myself a glass of milk and cook some cauliflower potato soup, hoping I’ll get more nutrients and better appetite. I looked so HORRIBLE with blood stains on my mouth that i can’t clean.

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Day 6: Sleep deprived… 4.30am and this is my 3rd waking up since my sleep from 11pm. I dreamt that I was so hungry, walked passed cheers and went in to look for food. Grab a bag of super thin chips and started munching them, amazed at how I able to chew them, then I suddenly realized I have wired teeth and a splint (how the hell am I able to chew?) I woke up choking in real life and coughing on my saliva. Each time I wake up, I’m feeling stinging pain in my stitches and a super uncomfortable stomach from all those medications.

I cried really bad again today. I skipped the painkillers thinking I should be ok without them, now the pain is super intense that my tears just keeps dropping uncontrollably 😢 I’m back to painkillers…

Day 7 : Found an information site on jaw surgery, I recommend for all who plans to do this to read about it.

http://blog.profilosurgical.com.au/blog/jaw-surgery-your-questions-answered

My first appointment back at the clinic, Dr Lye tried cleaning my teeth today, stretching my mouth little to clean the inner part off the teeth. The sides of my lips CRACKED! OMG~ that was painful…. When you thought the worst was over, there is more to come 😥 my worst fear are the braces and bands again.

Dr Tan says he love profile and that it’s a job beautifully done! He kept telling Dr Lye “Jin Sui hor?” Wells, at least he’s pouring all the positive sprinkles into my brains during this tough recovery period.

They took my X- trays today and I finally get to see what’s inside me. I think there’s 6 cuts on my bones with 8 sets of plates. Now I feel like I’m Ironman 🤣🤣

~”~

16 days post op

Visited the Dr Winston Tan today because Dr Lye is not around. He released more rubber bands from my mouth, but cannot release my wires yet. He says my surgery is more complicated than others as there are more broken bones compared to a normal jaw surgery (urgh~~ I hate the thought of how badly deformed my bones are.) One part of the bones which is held only with 1 plate is still shaky, and not healing yet, therefore he doesn’t want to risk removing the extra wires. The reason for one my 1 plate is that he didn’t want to damage my nerves over that area as there are much more nerves around there.

Removal of splint somewhere around after week 1

 

Here’s some detailed explanation of what they had done to me on one of the broken bones.

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Im still not allowed to chew and still on liquid diet, maybe soft with I can try to open mny mouth a little… (Sigh…..)
He asked me to start practicing to open my mouth and practice my bite. I tried, but my mouth wouldn’t open! The muscles around my cheeks are so tight and yet I wouldn’t want to force it in case I damage part of my face muscle and get permant numbness. I tried warm towel massages and all, but nothing seems to work! Doctor Tan says it well take a while and that I have to be patience.

~”~

24 days post op

Time flies…. It’s nearly a month to my recovery process. Friends who saw me said I looked so different. I felt I looked the same other than losing that double chin and chubby cheeks. (I had 4 teeth removed lor)

My top wire band has been removed on week 3 (goodness! It’s eating into my gums all the time!)

As my rubbers get loosen, and cleared to eat soft food (that can be mashed with your tongue, no actual biting yet, just practice with soft food), my jaw joints and head hurts at night when I try to sleep. It was so bad that I had to constantly take painkillers but still it did not ease that headache. Doctor says my muscles are not ready to support yet therefore he added 2 more rubber bands to ease that jaw muscles.

I found that i’m constantly admiring my side profile pictures and starting to fall in love over it 😍😍, the symmetrical profile that I had always longed for.

Flipping back my old photos, I made some comparisions..

The clinic has taken photos of me before surgery (non edited and non angled). I realised after braces, my face muscles proportion has changed!) How bad are my slated jaws duh...!!

The clinic has taken photos of me before surgery (non edited and non angled). I realised after braces, my face muscles proportion has changed!) How bad are my slated jaws duh…!!

Before pic:

I looked more fierce and totally non approachable when I don’t smile (but I’m not!).

I looked like an auntie (even people says it’s not)

I looked tired no matter how much eyelash and make up I try to put. Duh!!

My lips just WOULDN’T close and thus causing crack and dry lips.

I’ve got a “double chin” because of the receding chin.

My side profile is not symmetrical.

Next moving on .. to recovery tips on my next post!