Saturday, February 24, 2007

Latest Surgery Info

I started my braces and surgery journey back in 2004 and I'm scheduled for surgery on Tuesday, 13 March. Until a couple of days ago, I was supposed to have both upper and lower surgery with the possibility of a genioplasty (chin surgery). My lower jaw is rotated to the left approximately 5 mm and my teeth meet "end-on-end" with a cross-bite on the left. My upper jaw also has a slight (approximately 2 mm) cant on the right side. The original plan was a Lefort I 3-piece to widen my upper jaw and correct the cant and a Bilateral Sagittal Split Osteotomy (BSSO) to de-rotate the lower jaw and move it back into a normal bite pattern.

I went to my pre-surgical appointment this past Tuesday (20 February) and everything was good-to-go. One of the surgeons took some x-rays of the upper jaw and I completed all of the pre-admission paperwork. At that time I was still a go for both the upper and lower jaw surgeries. I took the paperwork to the Hospital Admissions Unit and had an EKG and some bloodwork and that was it.

And this is where things get a little ... odd. The surgeon called me Wednesday evening and asked me to come in for additional measurements on Thursday (22 February). I get there and the Chief Resident Surgeon asks me why I'm having upper jaw surgery. I told him that the plan from the beginning had been to use the Lefort I 3-piece to widen my upper jaw and correct the cant. He then showed me the last set of molds I had taken (November 2006) and said that the upper archwires had done their job and that they could correct all of my bite problems ... except the cant ... with only the BSSO. He also said that I would definitely need the genioplasty due to the lower jaw being moved backwards.

Now, I have no burning desire to have upper jaw surgery ... or any surgery for that matter ... but I have two concerns with *not* having the upper jaw surgery. 1) Can they guarantee that this 2 mm cant (less than 1/8 inch) won't cause bite problems in the future; and 2) After two plus years in braces and going through surgery, is it too much to ask for a PERFECT outcome?!? I'm not vain enough to think that 2 mm will make much of a difference - it just feels a bit like I'm settling (and I don't like to settle).

The two surgeons I was speaking with both assured me that the 2 mm cant would not cause problems down the road and that, in their personal and professional opinions, they recommended against the upper jaw surgery. In the end I decided that, if the original reason to have the upper jaw surgery was no longer an issue (widening of the upper jaw), I could live with the 2 mm cant. After all, I really liked the outcome I saw using the molds and, who knows, maybe the 2 mm cant will add a bit of character to my face.

The surgeons did say they would take my case back to the review board this next week to determine whether or not I'd need the upper jaw surgery. So, I'm continuing to prepare for the worst while hoping for the best.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am somewhat in the same position. Most of my surgery is covered I will have to pay $1800.00, and the cost of my braces. I met with the surgeon the other day and he said I most certainly need the lower orthognathic surgery, and stated that I could have upper orthognathic surgery and take off 2mm. He did not suggest I do this, but I have the same concerns. I want the perfect outcome, I have waited so long and have paid so much. I have many months to think about it. I have to weigh out the risks of the surgury. The surgeon said they can trim 2mm off my top teeth, I say why would I want smaller teeth. I am honestly confused on what to do!

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