How orthognathic surgery is performed and recovery

Orthognathic surgery is a plastic surgery indicated to correct the positioning of the chin and is done when there are difficulties to chew or breathe due to the unfavorable position of the jaw, in addition, it can be performed with aesthetic purposes to make the face more harmonious.

Depending on the position of the jaw and teeth, the surgeon can recommend two types of surgery:

  • Class 2 orthognathic surgery , which is performed in cases where the upper jaw is far in front of the lower teeth;
  • Class 3 orthognathic surgery , which is used to correct cases in which the lower teeth are far ahead of those of the upper jaw.

In the case of changes in the growth of the jaw that compromise breathing, rhinoplasty can also be performed to improve air flow. This procedure is more recommended for people over 17, which is when the facial bones have grown sufficiently, however, when the changes are very noticeable in childhood and have an aesthetic and psychological impact on the child, the first correction can be made, the second being performed when the growth of the facial bones has stabilized.

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How it is done

For orthognathic surgery to be performed, it is necessary for the person to use orthodontic appliances for at least 2 years so that the position of the teeth is corrected according to their bone structure, without the need for the teeth to be aligned in those first 2 years of treatment. orthodontic.

After 2 years of using the device, a simulation of the surgery is performed in order to visualize the final result of the procedure, including the aesthetic results. Then, the surgeon performs the repositioning of the jaw through a surgical procedure that is done inside the mouth. By this procedure, the bone is cut and fixed in another location using titanium structures.

Orthognathic surgery is available free of charge by SUS when it aims to solve problems related to health that are being caused by the position of the jaw, such as apnea, obstruction of breathing and difficulty in eating, for example. In the case of being performed for aesthetic purposes, the surgery must be performed in private clinics, not being made available by SUS.

How is recovery from surgery

Recovery from orthognathic surgery can take between 6 and 12 months, but generally, the person returns home between 1 and 2 days after surgery with analgesic medications, prescribed by the doctor, such as Paracetamol, to relieve pain. In addition, it is still important to take some precautions such as:

  • Rest for the first 2 weeks , avoiding work;
  • Apply cold compresses to the face for 10 minutes several times a day, until the swelling subsides;
  • Make a liquid or pasty food in the first 3 months or according to the doctor’s recommendation.
  • Avoid efforts , do not exercise and do not be exposed to the sun;
  • Do physiotherapy sessions to improve chewing, decrease pain and swelling and also headache caused by muscle tension.
  • Do lymphatic drainage on the face to reduce swelling.

Herbal tea prepared with bay leaves, ginger or linden can help to calm the pain and, therefore, are indicated to relieve discomfort after surgery. In case of discomfort in the mouth area and pain in the teeth, the inside of the mouth can be massaged with clove oil, but mouthwashes made with mint tea can also relieve the discomfort.

When to do physical therapy

Physiotherapy can be started as early as 1 or 2 days after surgery, or as required by the doctor. Initially the goal should be to reduce pain and local swelling, but after about 15 days, if the healing is good, you can concentrate on the exercises to increase the movement of the temporomandibular joint and facilitate the opening of the mouth, facilitating chewing.

Lymphatic drainage can help to reduce swelling of the face and can be done in all sessions. See the step by step to do lymphatic drainage on the face at home .

Risks of surgery

Although rare, this surgery can have some risks, which include loss of feeling in the face and bleeding from the mouth and nose. In addition, and as in all surgeries, infection can also occur at the site where the cuts were made. Thus, surgery should always be performed in specialized clinics and by properly trained doctors.

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