Length of Procedures

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Length of Procedures

#1 Post by chicago29 »


I have a question for all of you that are on the "other side". In reviewing almost every post on this board for the past 6 months, I've noticed a rather large range for the actual surgical procedure times. Specifically, for cases involving both an upper and lower.

On various posts for this board, for an upper and lower, I have seen as low as 2 hours and as high as 8 hours.

I'm wondering what the primary factor is when it comes to the procedure length? Is it the amount of work being done and/or the way things need to be moved, or is it the surgeon's preference on how to handle the procedures?

I am not sure we'll get the true answer here since none of us are surgeons, but it is something I was wondering about.

In speaking with my surgeon, my 2nd procedure (tentatively slated for Spring 2010) should be 3 hours. That will either be a 1 or 2 piece LeFort I, and a BSSO that will come forward somewhere in the 6 mm range. I told my surgeon that seemed "quick", and he went into detail about how he handles these cases.

He said that he takes molds about a month before surgery, and will actually go through the entire surgery on the molds - This, he said, takes longer than the actual operating procedure. In fact, he mentioned that back in the 80s these procedures used to take him 7 to 8 hours, and now they take around 3 hours due to the "pre-work" that goes into them.

So, I'm just wondering if anybody has any insight into this and what their surgeons may have told them.


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#2 Post by ohmyjaw »

Hm, I'm not sure what it is that determines the length of the surgery, but I am certain that the level of complexity has something to do with it. Mine was a 3 piece lefort and unilateral BSSO and it was 6 hours. The surgeon took some bone from my hip and and grafted it into my jaw. Also, he said that my lower jaw did not want to break, and it took him half an hour longer than usual to do the lower. I guess I must have strong bones...

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#3 Post by gatorseh »

My surgeons did molds and "operated" on them before my actual surgery as well. I was told 2 1/2 hours for each jaw and I think my surgery ended up being right around the 5 hour mark.

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#4 Post by Figamentation »

I'm in the Chicago area and just had mine done. Mine was initially expected to go 7.5 hours but they decided to hold off on the genio for a little while and revisit in 2 months. But also because I had no complications and my jaws were very cooperative I was in recovery in about 5 I think. I was in the hospital for a few nights and I think I'm one of the few people that was glad I had a lengthier stay. I didn't want to be anywhere but the hospital in case something went wrong, plus the morphine was fantaaaastic.

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#5 Post by Emaciated »

My upper/lower/genio was well rehearsed on molds ahead of time and was predicted to take 5 hours. It ended up taking 8 to 8.5 hours because of the following reasons:

1. It took me over an hour to completely pass out. I was knocked out with the gas immediately but didn't actually fall into unconsciousness until over an hour after the gas was administered. The surgical team just stood around me making small talk until the anesthesiologist decided I was good to be operated on.

2. Apparently I bled a river, more then the typical patient, which delays everything because once they opened me up, they spent more time then predicted suctioning blood and mopping up their mess, etc.

3. I was originally set to have a 1-piece upper jaw move but the surgeon decided on the spot to make it a 3-piece to give me a better fit, which takes longer to do.

4. Lastly, during my genio, he cut most of the way through my chin but decided he wasn't happy with that cut and opted to do it over again to get it more balanced. You can actually see in this-X-ray where he got about 4/5th through my chin and then went back and fixed the arch. (That thin slice on the left side of my chin above the genio cut.) So that added about another half of the time that it normally takes to do a genio. I'm of course glad he decided to take the extra time and go back and do it more precisely.

So there are four examples of things that can effect the predicted time. As Meryaten said I'm sure there are many.

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